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Nabucco pipeline to deliver Azerbaijani gas to Europe by 2011

Baku has expressed readiness to be a player in the proposed Nabucco pipeline, following a visit to the Azeri capital by representatives of the Austrian-led consortium behind the project.

The natural gas pipeline, tentatively slated to begin construction in 2008, will stretch 33 000 km, connecting Turkey to Austria via Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. In Turkey, it will connect to the Tabriz-Erzurum and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipelines. Preliminary calculations put construction costs at $5.8 billion. Construction is expected to finish in 2011. In the following decade capacity is planned to reach approximately 30 billion cubic meters per year, according to the Regnum news agency.

Building the Nabucco pipeline would provide a route for Europe to receive gas from Iran, Turkmenistan and Caspian Sea producers, bypassing Europe's current largest supplier, Russia. The EU officially supports the project. (