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UK supports Nabucco

UK Minister for Europe Affairs Jim Murphy said at the press-conference in Baku that during short-term visit to Baku they discussed Nabucco and a possibility to transport other countries’ (in particular Turkmenistan) natural resources through Azerbaijan.

“UK supports the project taking into account an importance of raw-material sources diversification and expects Azeri gas deliveries through Turkey to Europe to grow in future,” Murphy said. At the same time he did not talk about direct inviting Azerbaijan to the project. “Question on investments to that project will be solved by large companies,” Murphy said. He also positively evaluated BP’s work in Azerbaijan which operates the main gas and oil production projects brining profit to Azerbaijan. “Presidential elections in October will be honest, free and democratic and Azerbaijan involved into modern family of democratic countries. We were observing positive results concerning development of democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan,” Murphy said.

Nabucco consortium includes country’s oil and gas companies through which the gas pipeline will pass – OMV (Austria), MOL (Hungary), Transgaz (Romania), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria), Botas (Turkey) and RWE (Germany). The beginning of construction at the cost of €5 million ($7.4 million) with capacity up to 31 billion cubic meters a day has been postponed repeatedly because of absence of strong guaranties on raw-material deliveries.

However, European Union considers the project as a key hoping it will allow diversifying gas deliveries and reducing dependence on Russia construction in its turn alternative routes. The US also supports Nabucco thinking it gas commercial meaning and has export by this route can be cheaper than Russia’s “South flow”.

Azerbaijan promised to arrange ‘big’ gas export to Europe from Shah Deniz with resources 1.2 tn cu.m. in end-2013, but has not yet determined a priority route. Turkmenistan also promised to provide natural gas deliveries to EU (10 billion cubic meters/year) beginning from 2009 and studies beneficial routes. (