The Nabucco consortium is pushing for the approval of the Iraqi spur of its natural gas pipeline, indicating that the original project that could carry Azeri and Iraqi volumes through Turkey to central Europe may still be on the table.
Earlier this year, ICIS reported that the older Nabucco version, which was designed to carry 31 billion cubic metres (Gm³)/year of Azeri gas from the Turkish-Georgian border as well as Iraqi volumes to the Austrian Baumgarten hub, may be slimmed down.
The suggestions followed an announcement last year that Ankara and Baku would work together to build the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP), a project that would carry Azeri gas from the Shah Deniz platform through Turkey to the Bulgarian border ( see ESGM 14 February 2012).
Under this scenario, a shorter Nabucco West would no longer travel across Turkey, but connect with TANAP at the Bulgarian border and carry gas to Baumgarten from there.
But in a statement on Thursday, the consortium said it had submitted an environmental impact report for the 733km Sivas-Iraqi section to the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation and added that a similar study will be submitted for the Ankara-Georgia section.
"Negotiations between our shareholders and the Shah Deniz II consortium are ongoing, no final decision has been made so far," Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal said.
"We submitted a tariff-proposal for the 3,900km Nabucco base case including the Turkey sections at the end of September 2011, and we calculated Nabucco West scenarios. The base case is our benchmark; we are open to realise what brings added value."
Last year, Turkey and Azerbaijan signalled their intention to build TANAP, a pipeline that would carry 16Gm³/year of Azeri gas of which 6Gm³/year would be earmarked for the Turkish market and another 10Gm³/year could be sold on to Europe. AS
Copyright 2012 Heren Energy Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published April 12, 2012, in European Spot Gas Markets.)