FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)
Germany's nuclear phase-out has given the planned Nabucco gas pipeline a boost by raising the need for imported energy, but a final investment decision won't be made until the end of 2012, meaning construction wouldn't begin before 2013, the pipeline's managing director told Dow Jones Energy Daily.
The 4,000-kilometer Nabucco pipeline between Turkey and Austria, would be completed at the end of 2017, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek said.
Nabucco last week said its original cost estimate of EUR7 billion is under review, after Hungary's development minister last week said the project could cost up to EUR26 billion. Nabucco called that "speculation." Mitschek declined to comment on construction costs.
An open seasons procedure to determine the needs of European gas importers will be held in the first half of 2012, Mitschek said. Prior to that, the supply of gas from the Azerbaijani field Shah Deniz II needs to be contractually guaranteed. In the long term, Mitscheck said he expects up to around 20 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan.
Turkey has already secured around 6 billion cubic meters of gas of the around 16 billion-17 billion cubic meters expected to come out of Shah Deniz II via intergovernmental agreements. The Nabucco consortium wants to secure the remaining 10 billion cubic meters. Smaller developed fields in Azerbaijan could provide up to 4 billion cubic meters of gas in addition, Mitschek added.
The Shah Deniz consortium is negotiating with Nabucco-related gas importers like RWE AG (RWE.XE) and OMV AG(OMV.VI), as well as importers of two others pipeline consortia, including Edison SpA (EDN.MI) and E.ON Ruhrgas AG. A decision on the bids is expected at the beginning of next year.
As well as Azerbaijani gas, the EU gas importers want to fill the Nabucco pipeline with gas from Turkmenistan and Iraq.
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