The Nabucco-West pipeline (also referred to as the Turkey–Austria
gas pipeline) was a proposed natural gas pipeline from the
Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria. It was a modification of the
Nabucco Pipeline project, which was to run from
Baumgarten an der March
Baumgarten an der March in Austria. The aim of the Nabucco
pipeline was to diversify the natural gas suppliers and delivery
routes for Europe, thus reducing European dependence on Russian
energy. The original project was backed by several European Union
member states and by the United States, and was seen as a rival to the
South Stream pipeline project. The main supplier was expected to be
Iraq, with potential supplies from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and
Egypt. The main supply for the
Nabucco West was to be Shah Deniz
gas through the proposed
Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline
Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP).
The project was developed by a consortium of six companies.
Preparations started in 2002 and the intergovernmental agreement
between Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria,
Austria was signed on
13 July 2009. After an announcement of the construction of TANAP, the
consortium submitted the Nabucco-West project. Construction of
Nabucco-West depended on the gas export route decision by the Shah
Deniz consortium. After
Shah Deniz consortium decision to prefer
Trans-Adriatic Pipeline over Nabucco, the
Nabucco pipeline plan
was finally aborted in June 2013.
4 Technical features
7 Supply sources
8 Project company
9 Alternative projects
10 Controversial aspects
10.1 Economic and political aspects
10.2 Fossil fuels
10.3 Security aspects
11 See also
13 Further reading
14 External links
Russia in the European energy sector
Nabucco project is backed by the
European Union and the United
States. In the Trans-European Networks - Energy (TEN - E)
Nabucco pipeline is designated as a project of
strategic importance. An objective of the project is to
European Union better to the natural gas sources in the
Caspian Sea and the
Middle East regions. The project has
been driven by the intention to diversify its current energy supplies,
and to lessen European dependence on Russian energy—the biggest
supplier of gas to Europe. The Russia–
Ukraine gas disputes
have been one of the factors driving the search for alternative
suppliers, sources, and routes. Moreover, as per the European
Commission, Europe's gas consumption is expected to increase from
502 billion cubic metres, in 2005, to 815 billion cubic
metres in 2030, which would mean
Russia alone would not be able to
meet the demand.
South Eastern Europe is important as many of the regions are heavily
dependent on Russian gas imports.
Nabucco aims to diversify the gas
supply to increase competition and security. Simon Pirani, senior
Oxford Institute for Energy Studies
Oxford Institute for Energy Studies presented to
delegates at the Ukrainian Energy Forum in 2013 a list of prices from
the Russian newspaper Izvestia: "What they show is the prices at which
Russian gas is being purchased in different European countries, and
this tells quite a simple story. If you're in Eastern Europe, and you
are quite heavily dependent on Russian gas, you pay more than
$500/TCM; if you're in the UK, where we have a pretty much complete
domination of gas-to-gas market, you pay $300, or $370+ in Germany,
which is somewhere in between."
Preparations for the
Nabucco project started in February 2002 when
first talks took place between Austrian
OMV and Turkish BOTAŞ. In
June 2002, five companies (
OMV of Austria,
MOL Group of Hungary,
Bulgargaz of Bulgaria,
BOTAŞ of Turkey)
signed a protocol of intention to construct the
Nabucco pipeline. The
protocol followed by the cooperation agreement in October 2002. The
Nabucco comes from the same famous opera of Giuseppe Verdi, that
the five partners had listened to at the
Opera after this
meeting. In December 2003, the
European Commission awarded a grant
in the amount of 50% of the estimated total eligible cost of the
feasibility study including market analysis, and technical, economic
and financial studies. On 28 June 2005, the joint venture agreement
was signed by five
Nabucco partners. The ministerial statement on the
Nabucco pipeline was signed on 26 June 2006 in Vienna. On 12
Jozias van Aartsen
Jozias van Aartsen was nominated by the European
Commission as the
Nabucco project coordinator. In February 2008,
RWE became a shareholder of the consortium.
On 11 June 2008, the first contract to supply gas from Azerbaijan
Nabucco pipeline to
Bulgaria was signed. The President
Ilham Aliyev confirmed on 29 January 2009, that
Azerbaijan was planning to at least double its gas production in the
coming five years to supply the pipeline. On 12 April 2009, the
Minister of Energy of
Hilmi Güler confirmed that
ready to sign a deal, provided that
Turkey gets 15% of the natural gas
to be carried through the
On 27 January 2009, the
Nabucco Summit held in Budapest. On
24–25 April 2009, the
Nabucco pipeline was discussed, among other
energy issues, at the high-level energy summit in Sofia, and on 8
May 2009, at the
Southern Corridor Summit in Prague.
The intergovernmental agreement between Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria,
Austria was signed by five prime ministers on 13 July 2009
in Ankara. The
European Union was represented at the ceremony by
Jose Manuel Barroso
Jose Manuel Barroso and the Commissioner for Energy
Andris Piebalgs, and the
United States was represented by Special
Envoy for Eurasian Energy
Richard Morningstar and Ranking Member of
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Senator
Hungary ratified the agreement on 20 October
Bulgaria ratified the agreement on 3 February 2010.
Romania ratified the agreement on 16 February 2010.
the final country ratifying the agreement on 4 March 2010.
The legal framework set up by the intergovernmental agreement was
strengthened further with the signing in 2011 of the Project Support
Agreements (PSAs) between
Nabucco and each of the Transit countries.
The main elements of the PSAs are the affirmation of an advantageous
regulatory transit regime under EU law; the protection of the Nabucco
Pipeline from potential discriminatory changes in the law; and support
for legislative and administrative actions for the further
implementation of the project.
In May 2012, the
Nabucco consortium submitted a Nabucco-West proposal
Shah Deniz consortium. On 10 January 2013, Nabucco
Shah Deniz partners signed a funding agreement.
According to the agreement,
Shah Deniz partners will take a 50% stake
in the project if chosen as an export route for the Shah Deniz
gas. On 3 March 2013,
Nabucco International signed a memorandum of
understanding with the TANAP consortium. However, on 28 June 2013
Shah Deniz consortium announced that it had chosen the Trans Adriatic
Nabucco for its gas exports, prompting
Gerhard Roiss to regard the
Nabucco project as "over".
The original 3,893 kilometres (2,419 mi) long pipeline was to run
from Ahiboz in
Turkey via Bulgaria, Romania, and
Hungary to Baumgarten
an der March, a major natural gas hub in Austria. In Ahiboz, it
would be joined with two feeder lines, one connecting to Georgia in
the north (South Caucasus Pipeline), and the other connecting to Iraq
(pipeline to be built) in the southeast. It would be fed also from
the Tabriz–Ankara pipeline. 2,730 kilometres (1,700 mi) of the
pipeline was to be laid in Turkey, 412 kilometres (256 mi) in
Bulgaria, 469 kilometres (291 mi) in Romania, 384 kilometres
(239 mi) in Hungary, and 47 kilometres (29 mi) in
Nabucco West is to start from the Turkey–Bulgaria
border and further to follow the original route. The total length of
Nabucco West is 1,329 kilometres (826 mi), with the following
distances in each of the below countries:
Bulgaria: 424 kilometres (263 mi)
Romania: 475 kilometres (295 mi)
Hungary: 383 kilometres (238 mi)
Austria: 47 kilometres (29 mi)
From Turkey, the original
Nabucco pipeline was proposed to enter
Bulgaria and after running 76 kilometres (47 mi) in parallel to
the existing gas system connect to the Bulgarian national gas network
at the compressor station of village Lozenets in Yambol Province.
After crossing the Balkan Range, the pipeline will head 116.3
kilometres (72.3 mi) in a northwesterly direction. After reaching
the national northern half-ring, it will run 133 kilometres
(83 mi) in parallel to the existing East-West gas line and
continue 86.5 kilometres (53.7 mi) to northwest before reaching
Danube at Oryahovo. In Bulgaria,
Nabucco will have
interconnections with the national gas network and will have two
off-take systems, compressor stations and pig stations.
In Romania, the pipeline will be crossing into the country under the
Danube. The route on the Romanian territory will go from south-west to
north-west, its south-western starting point being located at the
Danube-crossing point upstream the Port of Bechet, and the
north-western end point being located north of Nădlac. The pipe will
follow the south western border of
Romania and will travel through the
counties of Dolj, Mehedinti, Caras-Severin, Timiş, and Arad. The
pipeline will cross 11 protected sites, two national parks, three
natural reserves, and 57 watercourses, namely major rivers such
as: Jiu, Coşuştea, Cerna, Bela Reca, Timiş, Bega, and Mureş, as
well as their tributaries. The terrain is rockier in
mainly constituted of limestone. This section is 469 kilometres
(291 mi) long.
Polish gas company PGNiG was studying the possibility of building a
link from the
Nabucco gas pipeline to Poland.
The Nabucco-West is to be exempt from regulated third party access,
including tariff regulation, for 25 years. Its proposal
states a capacity of 10 billion cubic metres (350 billion
cubic feet) per year. This capacity will be scaled up to
23 billion cubic metres (810 billion cubic feet) to
compensate for an anticipated increase in demand.
Nabucco West will
offer 50% of its transport capacity to third parties outside of the
Nabucco project is included in the EU Trans-European Energy
Network programme and a feasibility study for the
Nabucco pipeline has
been performed under an EU project grant. The front end engineering
and design (FEED) services of the pipeline, including the overall
management of the local FEED contractors, the review of the technical
feasibility study, route confirmation, preparation of the design
basis, hydraulic studies, overall
SCADA and telecommunications, GIS
and preparation of tender packages for the next phase, was managed by
UK-based consultancy Penspen. Starting from 14 December 2011,
WorleyParsons was appointed as on owner's engineer.
On 28 January 2013, it was announced that a re-feed for the Nabucco
West project is being conducted by
Saipem following the selection of
the project as the Central European route by the
Shah Deniz consortium
in June last year. This work will build upon existing engineering work
already completed for the
Nabucco classic route.
According to Reinhard Mitschek, managing director of
Pipeline International GmbH, construction of the pipeline was
scheduled to begin in 2013 and would become operational by
2017. However, in June 2013, the
Shah Deniz Consortium had
chosen a rival project, Trans Adriatic Pipeline, that has a route
Turkey–Greece-Albania-Italy, and the future of
The pipelines costs are undisclosed, however
Reinhard Mitschek said in
late 2012 that the costs of
Nabucco West would be far lower than
€7.9 billion previously suggested. The final investment decision
is expected in 2013. The sources of financing of the
are not decided yet. As a commercial project, it will be financed 30%
by the project's partners and the rest by commercial financial
European Commission has awarded an EU project grant
in the amount of 50% of the estimated total eligible cost of the
feasibility study and has also decided to allocate €200
million from the European Economic Recovery Plan. To receive this
financing, this grant should be committed by the end 2010.
Nabucco Summit held in Budapest on 27 January 2009, the heads
European Investment Bank
European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) confirmed, that they are
prepared to provide financial backing for the project. On 5
February 2010, the EIB vice-president Mathias Kollatz-Ahnensaid that
Nabucco consortium is seeking up to €2 billion (20–25% of
costs) financing from the bank. The EIB is ready to participate in the
financing of this project; however, the precondition is that the
partner countries should legally approve the pipeline's transit in
In September 2010, the consortium signed an agreement with EIB, EBRD,
International Finance Corporation
International Finance Corporation (IFC), according to which
the banks will conduct due diligence for a financing package of
€4 billion. Up to €2 billion will be signed by the EIB,
up to €1.2 billion by the EBRD, and up to €800 million
by the IFC. All figures listed above relate to the original
Nabucco Project. Updated figures for
Nabucco West are undisclosed as
of June 2013. Reinhard Mitschek, Managing Director of
Nabucco said in
an interview with Natural Gas Europe in May 2013 that “
continuing to cooperate with the International Financial Institutions
to ensure the bankability of the project, a large part of the legal
due diligence has already been completed. A Letter of Intent has been
signed with the IFIs most recently.” In a separate interview in
February 2013, Mitschek confirmed that all legal and regulatory
framework approved for the original
Nabucco project would remain valid
The potential suppliers for original
Nabucco project were considered
to be Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Egypt. At the first
stage, 10 billion cubic metres (350 billion cubic feet) of
natural gas per year were expected from Iraq. Iraqi gas would be
imported via the
Arab Gas Pipeline
Arab Gas Pipeline (extension to be built) from the
Turkmenistan would provide 10 billion cubic
metres (350 billion cubic feet) of gas per year through
Caspian Sea via the planned Trans-Caspian Gas
RWE set up a joint venture, named
the Caspian Energy Company, to carry out research for a gas pipeline
across the Caspian Sea. In the long term,
Kazakhstan may become a
supplier providing natural gas from the Northern Caspian reserves
through the planned Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline.
Egypt could provide 3–5 billion cubic metres
(110×10^9–180×10^9 cu ft) of natural gas through the
Arab Gas Pipeline. Prime Minister of
Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Egypt to export natural gas to Europe via the Nabucco
Iran has also proposed to supply gas to
and this was backed by Turkey; however, due the political conditions
this is rejected by the EU and the United States.
Nabucco-West is designated to carry Azeri gas from the second stage of
Shah Deniz through TANAP pipeline. The pipeline is able to
transport between 10 – 23 BCM annually from the
Shah Deniz gas
field. OMV, a shareholder in Nabucco, also suggested that
be used to transport gas from its Domino-1 deep-sea offshore well in
the Black Sea. The Domino-1 well was OMV’s largest gas find with 1.5
– 3 trillion cubic feet announced in February 2012.
The project is developed by the Vienna-registered
Nabucco Gas Pipeline
International GmbH. The managing director of the company is Reinhardt
The shareholders of the company are:
FGSZ (wholly owned subsidiary of MOL) (Hungary)
Nabucco International is the owner of the five national Nabucco
companies responsible for the operation and maintenance of the
pipeline in their respective countries.
RWE left the project and on 1 March 2013
OMV took over all of RWE's
shares. On 28 May 2013, it was announced that GDF Suez, a French
utilities provider, agreed to buy a 9% stake from OMV.
Nabucco and TANAP
Major existing and planned natural gas pipelines supplying Russian gas
The main competitor for the original project was South Stream. In
Gazprom proposed an alternative project, in competition with the
Nabucco pipeline, that would involve constructing a second section of
Blue Stream pipeline beneath the
Black Sea to Turkey, and
extending this up through
Serbia to western Hungary.
In 2007, instead the
South Stream project through Bulgaria, Serbia,
Hungary and Slovenia to
proposed. On 10 March 2010, CEO of Eni, a partner in
Paolo Scaroni proposed to merge
Nabucco and South Stream
projects to "reduce investments, operational costs and increase
overall returns". This proposal was rejected by energy
Sergei Shmatko saying that "
South Stream is more
competitive than Nabucco" and that "
South Stream are far
from being competitors". According to Nobuo Tanaka, former
executive director of the International Energy Agency, the Nabucco
pipeline would be more effective in increasing Europe's energy
security than the
South Stream project as it would increase the number
of gas suppliers.
Even more important competitor became TANAP which would follow the
Nabucco's original route in Turkey. Therefore,
modified the project and sees the modified Nabucco-West as a
prolongation of TANAP into Central Europe.
Nabucco West competed
Trans Adriatic Pipeline
Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the Interconnector
Also liquefied natural gas was seen as competitor to
Nabucco and to
pipeline projects in general. Azerbaijan, Georgia,
Hungary are developing Azerbaijan–Georgia–Romania
Interconnector project, which is proposed to transport Azerbaijani gas
to Europe in form of LNG. Increasing availability of LNG from
large gas-producing countries in the Middle-East and Africa stresses
the economic viability of pipelines.
Economic and political aspects
Nabucco pipeline will supply only a limited number of countries in
South-East and Central Europe. In 2013, it was confirmed by
Rosen Plevneliev that the pipeline would transport
gas to a minimum of 16 European countries including the gas hub in
Baumgarten, Austria. The project has been criticized as uneconomic
because there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient gas
supplies to make it profitable. The
Nabucco Gas Pipeline project,
although initially intending to secure gas from
readjusted its intentions given the current political and economic
instabilities in the two countries. It will initially transport 10 BCM
Shah Deniz gas field with the ability to increase its
capacity to 23 BCM as demand increases, along with supply. One
region that could also supply additional gas is the Black Sea, with
Exxon Mobil announcing an enormous gas discovery in February
Iran's Foreign Minister
Manouchehr Mottaki has stated "speaking about
Nabucco pipeline without Iran's participation would amount to
nothing but a pipeline void of gas". Russian Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin has made similar remarks. The deputy chairman of the
State Duma Energy Committee Ivan Grachev has questioned the
viability of the
Nabucco project and sees it as an attempt to put
pressure on Russia. This is supported by Russia's gas deals with
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, which by some observers has been seen as
attempt to reserve potential
stated that the gas will be transported only through those routes,
which would be commercially most attractive. Also the opening of
Central Asia – China gas pipeline
Central Asia – China gas pipeline and the agreements to build
South Stream pipeline has been seen as the end of Nabucco
However, before the raise of project's costs and the proposal of
RWE had claimed that the transportation of natural
gas through the
Nabucco pipeline would be cheaper than through South
Stream or other alternative pipelines. According to RWE, the
transportation of thousand cubic meters of gas from
Shah Deniz field
to Europe will cost through the
Nabucco pipeline €77 versus €106
South Stream pipeline. Russian opposition to the
pipeline stems from their monopoly over European gas supplies. The
Pipeline would lead to cheaper more secure gas supplies for the whole
of Europe, due to the decreased influence of the oil linked gas price,
this would provide economic benefits to the EU with cheaper energy
helping the union become more competitive.
NGOs have also criticized the fact that the pipeline results in
effective support of the authoritarian regime in Turkmenistan, which
undermines the European Union's policy of human rights promotion.
Some NGOs criticize the EIB and EBRD for their willingness to finance
a fossil fuel project, claiming that it goes against the November 2007
resolution on trade and climate change passed in the European Union
Parliament. The resolution calls for "the discontinuation of
public support via export credit agencies and public investment banks,
for fossil fuel projects." Non-governmental organizations also
show disapproval, due to the public banks decision to be lenient to
Turkmenistan Human and civil rights conditions.
Concerns have been raised about the safety of the project. Gas for the
Nabucco pipeline coming from
Turkmenistan will have to
pass near areas of instability in the South Caucasus.
South Caucasus Pipeline
Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline
New Europe Transmission System
Ukraine gas dispute
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Kusznir, Julia: "The
Nabucco Gas Pipeline Project and its Impact on EU
Energy Policy in the South Caucasus" in the Caucasus Analytical Digest
Homepage of the
Nabucco gas pipeline project company
Projected gas routes to Europe
5 bin kişiye iş imkanı-Turkey
Articles about the Energy und Nabucco-Pipeline issue in the Caucasus
Analytical Digest No.3
Elektriciteits Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland
RWE Power AG
RWE Supply & Trading CZ
Joint ventures and
Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für
Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service
Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service (28%)
Gundremmingen Nuclear Power Plant
Gundremmingen Nuclear Power Plant (75%)
Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH
Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH (16.67%)
Rostock Power Station
Rostock Power Station (24.6%)
Horizon Nuclear Power1
Places and facilities
Biblis Nuclear Power Plant
Innogy Nordsee 1
Garzweiler surface mine
Gundremmingen Nuclear Power Plant
Hambach surface mine
Lingen Nuclear Power Plant
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Neurath Power Station
Niederaussem Power Station
Nordsee-Ost offshore wind farm
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Aberthaw power stations
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Little Barford Power Station
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Advanced Plant Management System
Energy in Iran
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National Iranian Oil Company
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Iranian Central Oil Fields Company
Anglo-Persian Oil Company
Gas Exporting Countries Forum
National Iranian Gas Company
Natural gas reserves
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