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Iran calls Nabucco a 'dead plan', says ready to transit Turkmen gas to Europe


Source: Tehran Times

Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Export Company referred to the Nabucco gas pipeline project a "dead plan" and expressed Iran's readiness to transit Turkmenistan's gas to Europe.

The Mehr news agency quoted Hossein Bidarmaghz as saying that Iran's route for transiting the Turkmenistan's gas to Europe is more economical than the other projects, especially the trans-Caspian gas pipeline.

Pointing to the recent agreement between managers of Nabucco consortium and Turkmenistan's leaders for construction of Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, Bidarmaghz announced that at present most of the experts believe the Nabucco is a dead and on-paper project.

"Despite the inking of the Nabucco project in 2009, but so far no measure has been conducted for construction of it", he further said.

The trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which may be laid across the Caspian Sea, is a rather complex issue, which is directly linked to the status of the Caspian Sea - an issue requiring coordination by all the member states of the Caspian summit, experts said.

The European Union Council authorized the European Commission on September 12 to negotiate the construction of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan within the southern corridor initiative.

The trans-Caspian gas pipeline project may substantially change the 'gas map' of Europe, but the project has meager prospects so far, experts added.

The prospective gas pipeline has one big problem, that is the absence of real resources.

On the other hand, the Nabucco pipeline is a planned natural gas pipeline that will transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. It will run from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten in Austria. The project is backed by the European Union and the United States. It may cost $15 billion.

Nabucco gas pipeline

The project has been criticized as uneconomic because there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient gas supplies to make it profitable.

Analysts stated speaking about the Nabucco pipeline without Iran's participation would amount to nothing but a pipeline void of gas.

Rising price tag further threatens to sidetrack the 11 billion euro project. The European Commission-backed project was originally set to go online in 2015, but now will be delayed by two years to 2017.

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