Austria Mulls Over Russian Gas Pipeline

Austria Mulls Over Russian Gas Pipeline

Austria’s state oil and gas company OMV wants to build a pipeline to bring Russian natural gas to Europe, which would bypass Ukraine, local media reported Saturday.
According to Die Presse, the project will be promoted by Nabucco’s ex-CEO Reinhardt Mieczyk.
The Nabucco pipeline project, which had been slated to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe to bypass Russia, was cancelled in 2013. Its revived version, however, will differ from the original in that it will pump Russian, not Caspian Sea gas to European consumers. There has been no comment yet from Vienna-based OMV, but Russia’s Gazprom has already published a photograph of the pertinent negotiations between Alexei Miller, would-be OMV CEO Rainer Seele, and Reinhardt Mieczyk.
With Russia intending to end its gas transit via Ukraine by 2019, it considered implementing the so-called South Stream pipeline project to supply gas to southern Europe without crossing Ukraine. The $40 billion project was scrapped in 2014 over EU objections and Russia, instead, named Turkey as its preferred partner for the Turkish Stream alternative pipeline, with a promise of hefty discounts. Gazprom will lay a pipeline to Turkey and build a gas hub on the country's border with Greece.
In order to receive Russian gas via the new pipeline the southern European countries will need a gas transportation network on their territories. Gazprom is also considering a possible offshoot to Turkey and Bulgaria with initial deliveries estimated at around 30 billion cubic meters per year.
Meanwhile, chances are that with a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, Europe will start getting Iranian gas via the revamped Nabucco pipeline.
The Islamic Republic is ready to invest $10 billion into the construction of the new export route, Die Presse wrote.


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