Turkey sees Nabucco gas line accords in months

Energy Trade

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said inter-governmental and transit country accords for the Nabucco pipeline project will be signed within a few months.

The pipeline, supported by the European Union, is due to bring 30 billion cubic meters of Caspian and Middle Eastern gas annually from Turkey to an Austrian gas hub via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

The Nabucco consortium is made up of Turkish state-owned energy company Botas, Hungary's MOL, Romania's Transgaz, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, German RWE, and Austrian OMV.

Nabucco-consortium members Hungary and Bulgaria said late last month they wanted to see faster work and stronger political support for the pipeline, which was conceived as a way to decrease Europe's dependence on Russian gas.

Analysts have criticized Turkey for dragging its feet at the bargaining table to try to secure higher transit fees and rights to trade gas going through the pipeline.

Earlier in the year the price tag of the pipeline was revised up to €7.9 billion from €4.6 billion, though Turkey has said it can meet its share of the rising costs.

The line is expected to become operational in 2013. (Reuters)

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