Nabucco makes offer for Azerbaijan gas

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The Nabucco consortium planning a pipeline from the Caspian to Europe, reducing dependence on Russia, said Saturday it had made an official offer to tap Azerbaijan's immense Shah Deniz gas field.

"We are confident that Nabucco offers the best export route for gas from Azerbaijan and from other sources," offering a "win-win situation" for suppliers and customers, said managing director Reinhard Mitschek.

"It is commercially viable and competitive. Political support and stability has been granted by a Treaty with a duration of 50 years signed by all five transit countries as well as by bilateral project support agreements."

The 4,000-km (2,500-mile), 7.9-billion euro ($10.6-billion) Nabucco pipeline is meant from 2017 to bring gas from Caspian region, the Middle East and Egypt to Austria via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

It is up against competition from a number of other proposed projects: ITGI or IGI Poseidon, connecting Turkey, Greece and Italy; the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP); South Stream and a fourth being considered by Britain's BP.

Azerbaijan is reportedly due to make a decision by the end of the year.

© 2011 AFP

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