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US expert: Nabucco and South Stream can not coexist 

de Radu Rizea
Vineri, 30 mai 2008, 12:48 English | Regional Europe

The competing natural gas pipeline projects - Nabucco (avoiding Russia) and Rusia South Stream (initiated by Russia, through Gazprom) - are not compatible, US expert Zeyno Baran declared, according to AFP. The first one to come into function will eliminate the other, since they serve more or less the same markets, the researcher at the Hudson Institute argued.

The two consortiums aim at launching the pipelines in 2013, for a transit of 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Some investors doubt that Nabucco will find this amount of gas, so that the pipeline would be functional. In an interview offered a few months ago to HotNews.Ro, Nabucco executive manager Reinhard Mitschek declared that even the Russian gas is taken into consideration, in order to complete the other resources. Azerbaijan would thus be the main provider, but Iran is also an option.

The Nabucco project, thought as a way to reduce the dependence from the Russian gas, should transport the Caspian Sea gas towards Austria, crossing Turkey and the Balkans, involving Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey and Romania. The project has a strong support from the European Union.

On the other hand, the Italian - Russian competing project, South Stream, is supported by Greece, Serbia, Hungary and Bulgaria. After crossing the Black Sea, the pipeline would arrive in Bulgaria, where it divides in two lines, one towards Austria and Hungary, the other towards Greece and Italy.

The statement made by Zeyno Baran comes after the Nabucco representatives announced a cost increase of 60%, from 5 to 7.9 billion Euro, due to the steel price growth.

Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal contradicted Baran, arguing that Europe has a high demand for energy products. According to Dolezal, the construction works will begin in 2010.

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