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Azerbaijan commits gas to Nabucco

BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 7 (UPI) -- Despite growing Russian interest in Azeri gas, Baku is ready to deliver half of its natural gas reserves to the Nabucco pipeline for Europe, officials said.

Azerbaijan is a gas supplier to Russia, Iran, Turkey and Georgia. Its total recoverable natural gas reserves pass 70 trillion cubic feet.

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Russian energy giant Gazprom starting in 2010 agreed to buy 35 billion cubic feet of gas from Azerbaijan and around 70 billion cubic feet of gas in 2011, Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Ali Gazanov, the head of social and political developments for the Azeri government, added that his country was slated to deliver gas to Nabucco.

"Azerbaijan attaches great importance to Nabucco," he said. "We are ready to supply 50 percent of Azerbaijani gas via the pipeline.

The $10.5 billion Nabucco pipeline aims to move gas from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and possible Middle East suppliers to Europe. Supplier nations, however, have been slow to commit to the 2,000-mile pipeline

German energy company and Nabucco consortium member RWE said there were delays in agreements for Nabucco with potential supplier nation Turkmenistan. Nevertheless, construction is to start in 2011 with first gas flowing by 2014.

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