Iraqi Natural Gas by Pipeline to Western Europe

(GLOBAL RESEARCH)   Ex-advisor to the U.S Secretary of State on political affairs Marc Grossman says the Nabucco pipeline project which will transport gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to the EU will not face filling up difficulties.

The Iraqi statement on its readiness to transport its gas through the pipeline suggests that the problem of [Nabucco] filling will not cause complications, Grossman told journalists at the Center for Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani president.

Along with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, Iraq is also considered a potential country to supply gas for Nabucco. Previously, Iraq expressed its readiness to supply the pipeline with about 15 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

According to BP, as of Jan.1, 2009 the proven gas reserves of Azerbaijan amount to 1.2 trillion cubic meters, Iraq – 3.17 trillion cubic meters, Turkmenistan – 7.94 trillion cubic meters.

Grossman emphasized the importance of the intergovernmental agreement on the Nabucco project signed signed in Ankara in July, which is very important for energy security in the world, he said.

The problem of energy security will remain as the principle one for the European market, Grossman said.

The Nabucco project worth 7.9 billion euros will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU. The project’s capacity is 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Construction is planned to be completed by 2014. Nabucco shareholders are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE with 16.67 percent each.

Some 30 percent of the total project’s cost will be invested by the shareholders of the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International based on equal shares. The remaining 70 percent will be paid by loans.

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