Is that zombie of energy politics, the Nabucco gas pipeline, coming back to life once again? Of course, for every "Nabucco's comes back to life" story there's the corresponding "final nail in Nabucco's coffin" story, but a recent agreement to be signed in Turkey offers some hope for the pipeline's boosters. From a report in New Europe:
Turkey gave a boost to the ambitious Nabucco gas pipeline project, which aims to pump Caspian or Middle Eastern gas to Europe, ahead of upcoming elections by planning an official signing ceremony in Kayseri on 8 June of Project Support Agreements (PSAs) between the Nabucco Companies and the responsible Ministries of the five transit countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey).
This message was long overdue, Peter Poptchev, Ambassador at Large for Energy Security and Nabucco Coordinator for Bulgaria, told New Europe on 3 June in the sidelines of the South East Europe Energy Dialogue in Thessaloniki, organized by the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe (IENE). “The meeting of the parties to the Nabucco intergovernmental agreement in the Turkish city of Kayseri will be a strong political message to the outer world that Nabucco is up and running, it is developing, it is considering very important new options. It’s a strong political message. We have needed such a message for a long time. Now it has come,” Poptchev said.
In related news, Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov was recently in Washington, DC for a visit and gave a talk at the Atlantic Council, where he spoke about Nabucco, among other things. Regarding the project and some of its competitors, all of which need Azeri gas to get going, the FM said "all options are on the table" from Baku's perspective. Reminded that he had said the same thing in an interview the year before, Mammadyarov said: "What is clear is that in 2011 we need to make clear which project we are going to send out gas to Europe with."
"That's why it's not a question for Azerbaijan to answer. It's a question for Brussels," he added.