Die Presse: OMV May Be Planning 'Russian Nabucco' Gas Pipeline
The future head of Austria’s OMV Rainer Seele appears to be planning a new route for Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine jointly with Gazprom, according to Austrian newspaper Die Presse.
Seele will take the helm at one of the most powerful energy companies in central Europe on 1 July to replace OMV's current CEO Gerhard Roiss, who is set to step down at the end of June.
According to the Austrian newspaper, the new route appears to resurrecting the closed gas pipeline project Nabucco – with one major difference: instead of carrying Caspian gas to Europe it will transport Russian and possibly Iranian natural gas via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Austria
The original Nabucco pipeline project, officially buried in 2013, was designed to bring Caspian gas via Turkey and the Balkans to a central European hub in Baumgarten near Vienna in order to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Two years later there are signs that OMV is considering a 'Russian Nabucco pipeline', according to Die Presse.
Three independent sources have confirmed to Die Presse that the project will be promoted by Reinhard Mitschek, the former managing director of the Nabucco consortium, in which OMV, Hungary’s MOL, Romania’s Transgaz, Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz, Turkey’s Botas and Germany’s RWE each held 16.67%.
Die Presse also noted in its exclusive article that Reinhard Mitschek is sitting next to Seele in Moscow on 3 June with the management of Gazprom on a photograph posted on the official website of the Russian gas giant.
OMV had confirmed the meeting but declined to give details, while Mitschek and Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov could not be reached for comment, Die Presse said.
Since 2009 Seele has been CEO of German oil and gas company Wintershall, a division of the chemical giant BASF and one of the main European partners of Gazprom in Europe.
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