Romania emerges cool to Nabucco gas pipeline project

Romanian president Traian Basescu has demanded that the European Union returns 23 million euro spent by Bucharest on the Nabucco West gas pipeline project, to help the country to decrease its dependence on Russian Gasprom, Kommersant newspaper reported citing the country's president.

According to the Russian newspaper, Brussels believes that the claims were wrongly addressed. The decision on rejecting Nabucco was adopted by the Consortium for the development of the Azerbaijani offshore gas condensate field Shah Deniz.

According to the Romanian president, Bucharest has the right to receive compensation given that his country has never hesitated to make a choice between Russian gas pipeline project South Stream and Nabucco, firmly expressing support for participation in the latter project as it 'complies with EU interests'.

Romanian company Transgaz, a partner of the Nabucco consortium, has spent 23 million euro on the project. Traian Basescu said the compensation can be sent for example towards the modernisation of rail roads and other regional projects.

A consortium of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development with about 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves, announced its choice of the TAP project in late June as a gas transportation route to European markets.

Nabucco West was the second pipeline that competed for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

This choice marks the launch of the Southern Gas Corridor, the project which will give opportunities to Europe to diversify its supply sources and increase its energy security and will give Azerbaijan a chance to develop a new market in Europe. The Southern Gas Corridor is a large project designed to meet Europe's gas needs for decades to come.

TAP is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and then to Western Europe.

The gas which will be produced in the second phase of the Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source of the project.

The initial capacity of the TAP pipeline will be 10 billion cubic meters per year with the possibility of expanding to 20 billion cubic meters per year.

TAP shareholders are AXPO (42.5 per cent), Statoil (42.5 per cent and E.ON Ruhrgas (15 per cent).

Adapted from TODAY.AZ