Berlin, Jun 30, IRNA-Austria's OMV, Central Europe's leading oil and gas group, Austria's OMV signed a joint venture agreement with four partners for the planned 'Nabucco' pipeline project which would transport gas from Iran's Caspian Sea region to Middle - and West Europe, the business daily Handelsblatt reported Thursday.
The new venture group - Nabucco Gas Pipeline International Ltd. - will among other things be responsible for preparing the financial concept and coordinating the subsequent project phases.
Besides OMV, the consortium includes also Hungary's MOL, Romania's Transgaz, Turkey's Botas and Bulgaria's Bulgargaz.
With a construction cost of 4.6 billion euros, the 3,300-kilometer long gas pipeline has a strategic value for OMV which seeks to expand its position on the European gas market.
The decision whether to build the pipeline will be made in either 2006 or 2007, the report added.
Potential companies which are targeted for long-term delivery deals include Germany's Eon Ruhrgas and RWE as well as the French gas firm Gaz de France.
OMV which has also been operating in Iran's Zagros region since 2001 under a four-year agreement signed with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), supplies natural gas to Austria as well as to neighboring Germany, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, France and Croatia.
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