The European gas pipeline consortium Nabucco must move ahead with key investment decisions, European Unon Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in an interview published Thursday.
Last month, the European Union secured a pledge from Azerbaijan to supply gas to Europe, which could flow through the planned Nabucco pipeline that would make Europe less dependent on Russian gas.
The commissioner told the Austrian daily Die Presse that enough preparatory work had been done and the consortium of key European energy companies "must and can move courageously ahead," despite some remaining risks.
The Austrian Nabucco partner OMV said recently that a final decision on the project depends on closing a deal to get gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 field.
"Enough gas volumes are being offered," Oettinger said. "With this issue, there are enough eggs in the straw," he said. "Now the chicken have to sit on it and hatch it out."
Talks are underway with Turkmenistan on a deal similar to the one with Azerbaijan, and Oettinger said he hoped also for negotiations with Iraq.
The pipeline would carry gas from the Caspian Sea and the Middle East through Turkey to Europe.
The Nabucco project is being developed by the Bulgarian state energy firm BEH, Turkish state company BOTAS, Hungarian-based company MOL, Austria's OMV, Germany's RWE and Romania's Transgaz.
Copyright 2011 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH