Nabucco Spokesman: Turkmenistan Natural Gas Promise 'Remarkable'

Business » ENERGY | November 25, 2010, Thursday // 18:51
Bulgaria: Nabucco Spokesman: Turkmenistan Natural Gas Promise 'Remarkable' Nabucco might be drawing gas from Turkmenistan in addition to Azerbaijan and Iraqi Kurdistan. Map by nabucco-pipeline.com

The announcement of Turkmenistan that it is ready to provide natural gas for the Nabucco gas transit pipeline is a "remarkable step," according to Christian Dolezal, Spokesperson of the Nabucco Consortium.

After at the end of last week Turkmenistan announced it was ready to provide the project with more natural gas that it can handle, on Thursday Dolezal commented in Sofia that the statement of Turkmenistan's First Deputy Prime Minister Baymurad Khojamukhamedov is very promising, and that the Nabucco Consortium is convinced that it will strike a supply contract with Turkmenistan.

Khojamukhamedov said Turkmenistan could provide up to 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, more than the planned capacity of Nabucco which is 31 billion per year.

Christian Dolezal, Spokesperson of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, the Vienna-based project company, who took part in the Bulgarian Economic Forum in Sofia Thursday, said that in order to secure international funding for the construction of the pipeline, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH needs to secure between 10 and 18 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

At the present the project company is involved in talks with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, asking for an EUR 4 B loan. These negotiations are expected to be completed in 2011.

Dolezal said the first gas supplies for Nabucco are expected to come from Azerbaijan – about 8 billion cubic meters per year at first, of which 6 billion could come from the Shah Deniz 2 field. Another 10 billion cubic meters are expected from Iraqi Kurdistan, and the consortium is awaiting the outcome of talks with the Iraqi government.

The construction of the Nabucco gas transit pipeline will start in 2012, and the first natural gas deliveries through it should be a fact in 2015, he explained.

From that, the direct investments in the Bulgarian economy from the construction of Nabucco will be about EUR 400 M and a few hundred jobs. Another about 1000 jobs will be created indirectly by the project.

Despite the neat timeline for the construction and entering into operation of Nabucco, Dolezal indicated that 2011 will be key for the project because this is when the first contracts with the natural gas suppliers will be signed by the consortium.

The Nabucco shareholders are: Bulgarian Energy Holding (Bulgaria), Botas (Turkey), MOL (Hungary), OMV (Austria), RWE (Germany) and Transgaz (Romania), Each shareholder holds an equal share of 16.67% of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH.

The Nabucco gas transit pipeline is supposed to be ready by 2015. Mitschek has made it clear that the project company is certain of Bulgaria's commitment. He has also expressed confidence that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and IFC - a member of the World Bank Group, will support the project with respect to finding funding.

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Tags: Nabucco, Turkmenistan, EU, gas transit pipeline, Caspian Sea, Caspian Region, Central Asia, Baymurad Khojamukhamedov, Russia, pipeline, Nikolay Mladenov, Foreign Minister, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, Christian Dolezal, Bulgarian Economic Forum
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