German RWE to Quit Nabucco, Sell Share to OMV
Map of the Nabucco West gas pipeline project by BGNES/Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH
German utility RWE is about to quit the Nabucco gas pipeline project, according to sources close to the matter.
RWE is rumored to be in talks with fellow shareholder OMV for the sale of its 16.7% stake.
The project's current shareholders include the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas, Austrian OMV, German RWE, and Hungary's MOL, each of them controlling a 16.67 % stake.
The transfer of RWE's stake to Austrian OMV could take place before the end of 2012, according to reports of the Financial Times.
The EU-backed Nabucco project is to carry Caspian natural gas to European markets, reducing Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies.
In May 2012, the management of Germany's second largest utility announced it was weighing up its role in Nabucco.
"In the changed circumstances with new gas pipeline projects in view, we are revising whether Nabucco will take our proposals into consideration," RWE said, as cited by RIA Novosti.
Hungarian MOL has also warned it could sell its stake in Nabucco due to the project's uncertain costs and gas supply sources.
In May 2012, the Nabucco Consortium presented the revised, smaller version of the gas pipeline project called Nabucco West to the consortium developing the Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan.
The 1300-km pipeline Nabucco West is to carry Caspian gas from the Bulgarian-Turkish border to the Central European Gas Hub (CEGH) in Baumgarten and beyond.
The Nabucco group said that the revised version of the project would benefit from the existing legal framework such as the Intergovernmental Agreement, Project Support Agreements and third party access exemptions, that have already been negotiated.
The original pipeline was 3,900 kilometers long and ran from the Eastern border of Turkey to Baumgarten in Austria.
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