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Nabucco pipeline could be delayed again: OMV

13 october 2011, 09:47
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Leaders of participating countries pose for a group photo after the signing ceremony of the Nabucco Intergovernmental Agreement in Ankara. ©Reuters
Leaders of participating countries pose for a group photo after the signing ceremony of the Nabucco Intergovernmental Agreement in Ankara. ©Reuters
The Nabucco gas pipeline, meant to wean Europe off of its dependency on Russian gas, could become operational a year later than planned, in 2018, AFP reports, citing stakeholder OMV Tuesday.

Gerhard Roiss, CEO of the Austrian oil and gas giant, told the Austria Press Agency the first gas deliveries to Europe from central Asia would occur in 2018.

"That's the information we have currently," he said in an interview.

Officially, Nabucco has said until now that the pipeline would begin operations in 2017.

The EU flagship project, which faces stiff competition from rival pipelines including Russia's South Stream, has struggled to secure suppliers, repeatedly postponing construction as a result.

Roiss is touring central Asia this week to discuss possible supply deals for Nabucco and already met Monday with Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.

He was also due to sign a memorandum of understanding Wednesday between OMV and Azerbaijan's state oil company Socar, which he said he had encouraged to join the pipeline project, before traveling to Turkmenistan.

The 4,000-km (2,500-mile), 7.9-billion euro ($10.6-billion) Nabucco pipeline is meant to start construction in 2013 and bring gas from the Caspian region to Austria via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

OMV is one of six equal-share partners in Nabucco alongside Bulgaria's BEH, Hungary's MOL, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish BOTAS and RWE from Germany.

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