The Nabucco consortium raises the possibility of using Iran as its starting point for laying a pipeline to supply Europe with natural gas.
The Nabucco pipeline will transfer Caspian gas to Europe via Turkey and the Balkan states to Austria, bypassing Russia and Ukraine.
The Nabucco pipeline could begin in Iran and Georgia or in Turkey and the consortium is considering both alternatives, consortium Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek told reporters in Ankara.
"We are open to both possibilities. The most important thing is feasibility," Mitschek said.
A recent Russia-Ukraine gas row, which led to a disruption of supplies to a dozen European countries amid a cold snap, prompted the EU to step up efforts to find alternative gas routes.
The pipeline, estimated to be worth $7.3 billion upon completion, will ultimately transport Caspian gas, across Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to a distribution hub in Austria.
Earlier in December, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that Ankara could buy natural gas from Iran and Iraq to feed the Nabucco pipeline.
Although the pipeline has been designed to lessen gas dependency on Russia, the Nabucco consortium is considering allowing Moscow's participation in the project.
"We do not refuse from Russia's participation in the project. If we get proposal from Moscow, we will discuss it with partners," RIA Novosti quoted Mitschek as saying.
According to the Nabucco official, the laying of the pipeline will start in 2011 but gas flow will begin in 2014.
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