Does Turkey’s energy deal with Russia affect Nabucco?

Does Turkey’s energy deal with Russia affect Nabucco?

The latest energy agreement signed between Russia and Turkey will not affect the implementation of the Nabucco gas pipeline project, and on the contrary, will facilitate it, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz was quoted by Hurriyet newspaper as saying on Monday.

“All the statements that implementation of the Nabucco project will slow down after the signing of the agreement on [Russian-backed] South Stream [pipeline] are wrong,” Yildiz said.

Ankara and Moscow signed an agreement on the provision of inland waters to Turkey in December 2011 to implement the South Stream project. This project seeks to diversify the routes of natural gas to European consumers and involves the construction of a pipeline across the Black Sea to the South and Central Europe. The total design capacity of the offshore section of South Stream is 63 billion cubic meters a year.

The Nabucco project is intended to transport natural gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to the EU countries. Its construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, with commissioning due in 2017. Its maximum capacity is 31 billion cubic meters per year. Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas, and German RWE are the participants of Nabucco.

Guner Ozkan, an energy expert at the International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO), says the South Stream and Nabucco projects cannot be considered rivals, because each of them has its own market.

“Nabucco and South Stream are two independent projects, and each of them has its own objectives and markets,” Ozkan told the Baku-based Trend news agency.

The analyst noted that the agreement on South Stream gas pipeline will, in fact, provide additional conditions for the realization of Nabucco, resulting in all regional energy projects “acquiring a clear shape”.

Ozkan also said the main problem for the realization of Nabucco is not the other energy project, but growing tension between Iran and the West, which could affect the entire Caspian region.


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