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Nabucco: Survey shows strong demand for pipeline

Nabucco Gas Pipeline, which plans to pump gas from central Asia to Europe starting in 2013, said on Monday a survey of potential customers showed its capacity would be overbooked from the first day it goes on-stream.

The survey asked potential shippers to declare their interests on a non-binding basis, Nabucco, led by Austrian oil and gas group OMV said. It was done last month in preparation for the more formal open season process, in which customers make binding bids for capacity. “More than 100% overbooking from day one in 2013 shows huge demand for the provided Nabucco capacities on a strong growing gas market,” Nabucco managing director Reinhard Mitschek said in a statement. Nabucco said the open season process would start once the legal framework for Nabucco was established.

The planned 3,300 kilometer (2,051 miles) pipeline still needs to win exemption from European Union antitrust rules and an agreement between the governments whose countries the pipeline will go through. Nabucco’s shareholders are OMV, Hungary’s MOL, Romania’s Transgaz, Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz, Turkey’s Botas and Germany’s RWE. The pipeline is expected to cost €7.9 billion ($11.8 billion). (Reuters)