ENERGY CORRIDORSNabucco may also buy gas from the countries it is crossing

ALEXANDRU SÂRBU (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section /

Nabucco may also buy gas from the countries it is crossing

The Nabucco pipeline may also buy natural gas from the countries it is crossing, if they will provide such sources, said Reinhard Mitschek, CEO of "Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH". "Nabucco isn't just a transit corridor, but also a huge market which provides many business possibilities to those who are interested, and if the countries which it crosses will have local sources of natural gas available, they will have the ability to become suppliers to the gas pipeline", he said.

The Nabucco Political Committee, which includes the Nabucco government representatives of the countries it is crossing, yesterday confirmed the political support for the Nabucco Gas Pipeline Agreement and for the existing Intergovernmental Agreement, thus ensuring the confidence of investors and producers.

The committee was hosted by the Energy Ministry of Austria and saw the participation of the European Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, of the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov and of the energy ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey and Romania, as well as of the shareholders of Nabucco. He confirmed that the current legal and regulatory framework for the Nabucco project is applicable according to the Intergovernmental Agreement, the Project Support Agreement) (PSA) which are still in effect, as well as for the project which begins at the Bulgarian border. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Industry and Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Natig Aliyev, who made a presentation on the evolution of the project from the producers' point of view.

Reinhard Mitschek said: "The Political Committee reaffirms the political, legal and regulatory support for Nabucco. This commitment is a crucial factor which makes Nabucco the most advanced pipeline project in the Southern Corridor, very attractive for the market participants all over Europe and Turkey, for the gas suppliers, for investors and sponsors. We are reducing the risks and we are maximizing a solid legal protection. We salute this support message and we anxiously await to work together with the states involved to secure the freedom of choice and the energy security for European consumers".

The Nabucco consortium continues to collaborate closely with the Shah Deniz II consortium and the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and it remains confident that it provides the best solution for attracting new supply sources and to transport them to the major European consumer markets, according to a press release by "Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH".

"Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH" (NIC) was created on June 24th, 2004 to develop, build and operate the Nabucco pipeline. The company is owned by the shareholders of Nabucco ("OMV", "FGSZ", of Hungary, "Bulgarian Energy Holding", "Botas", of Turkey, "RWE" of Germany and "Transgaz") and it is in charge of developing, building, operating, negotiating and allocating the capacity of the Nabucco pipeline. "NIC" would be the only company to have direct contact with the transporters, to offer a one-stop-shop solution and to operate as a standalone company on the market, acting independently from the parent companies. The pipeline system will be built by the national subsidiaries of Nabucco, in each country.

George Maior, Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI): "There are major reserves of hydrocarbons in the Black Sea region"

Recent economic developments at the Black Sea are extremely interesting for the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) as well, George Maior, the head of the SRI, recently said, and he went on to say that the "explorations of major company < Exxon > show that there are extremely significant volumes of hydrocarbons" in this region.

The explorations could give a second wind to the Nabucco European gas pipeline, which "had reached a deadlock", according to George Maior. "These developments on the Balck Sea may also generate a positive impact for Nabucco, in terms of its transport capacity and of the resources of the Black Sea", he thinks, who added that after these discoveries, the Black Sea is no longer just a transit zone for the routes from the Caspian Sea.

"If we know how to play our advantage of neighboring the Black Sea, in the medium and long term we will get more energy security", the head of the SRI said, who warned however that Romania must free itself from certain "evil ideologies" and understand that it does not have the technologies necessary to exploit these resources, meaning that it needs to cooperate with other countries and companies which own them.

"These explorations have already yielded results, the investment program has already begun for these major companies, therefore things will speed up in the future and it is beneficial for us", said George Maior.

When asked whether this cooperation with other countries could include Russia as well, he said: "< Gazprom > is also present in this area, and obviously, from an economic point of view, we need to be prepared for this kind of cooperation".

Chatam House: The oil industry needs to restructure at the core

The oil industry will need to undergo a deep restructuring, to adapt itself to the development of non-conventional hydrocarbons, according to a study published on Monday by British institute Chatam House.

The threat of a shortage of oil resources doesn't seem to be imminent anymore, and the notion of < < peak oil > > (a level from where the oil output would drop constantly) doesn't seem likely anymore, according to the 124 page report drafted by Chatham House. On the contrary, it is demand for oil which seems to be approaching a peak in the developing countries, due to the rise in the price of oil after 2005 and to the stricter policies concerning the greenhouse gas emissions, the study also shows.

The use of oil for transport, which is responsible for half of the world's needed consumption, will fall due to the technological progress, which reduces the fuel consumption of cars as well as the higher use of biofuel. On the other hand, the raising production of shale gas in the US hints at a "golden age of natural gas".

"The world's oil sector must realize that these economic, political, and geopolitical developments require a deeper adaptation, rather than simple gradual changes if it wants to continue to prosper", said John Mitchell, one of the authors of the study.

Chatham House considers that the real threat would more likely be the rise of the price, rather than the drop in the supply of oil.

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