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EU should help pay for Nabucco pipeline

The European Union should help pay the €5 billion ($6.7 billion) cost of constructing the Nabucco pipeline, which will carry natural gas from the Caspian to western Europe, Mol Nyrt CEO Zsolt Hernádi said.

„If the EU wants to help and the Nabucco plan is so dear to its heart, then it should finance the construction cost,” Hernádi said in an interview with Napi Gazdaság, published today. „It would be great to have several sources of supply, but we also have to examine the economy of the alternatives.” Budapest-based Mol Nyrt is interested in both Nabucco and OAO Gazprom's Blue Stream project, Hernádi said. The company is also working on a plan to build a 10 billion-cubic meter gas storage facility in Hungary with Gazprom, he added.
Hungary was one of the countries where crude oil shipments were disrupted this year and natural gas supplies last year, because of disputes between Russia and transit countries. The nation has Europe's second-highest natural gas use per person and relies on Russian fuel for most of its consumption.

„Hungary is more exposed to natural gas supply risks than any other country in the world,” Hernádi said. „ 90% of the people use natural gas and domestic production only covers a fifth of consumption.” Mol and Gazprom last year said they will work together to extend the Russian company's Blue Stream pipeline, which now ends in Turkey, through countries including Italy, Serbia and Croatia. The Hungarian company is also a partner in Nabucco, along with Austria's OMV AG, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz AD, Romania's Transgas and Turkey's Botas. Hernádi reiterated that the company is seeking acquisition targets to expand its crude oil and natural gas production. Mol still plans to bid for the government's stake in Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. and Serbia's NIS refinery, he said. (Bg, Napi Gazdaság)