Guerra fredda: Nabucco died, Russia won

L'Azerbaigian (Baku, petrolio e gas per l'Europa) sceglie il 'South Stream' russo attraverso il 
Caspio (Russia - Caspio - Bulgaria - Serbia - Ungheria - Slovenia), e abbandona il progetto 
occidentale 'Nabucco' via Georgia - Turchia, decretandone la morte. 

Ricevo e inoltro da Coordinamento Nazionale Jugoslavia

Vedi anche: 


South Stream:



Il progetto di oleodotto strategico USA-UE, "Nabucco", è seriamente in crisi dopo il ritiro 
dell'Azerbaigian, che ha annunciato che userà piuttosto la tratta trans-adriatica. 
Ne risulta così favorito il progetto alternativo, detto "South Stream", sponsorizzato dalla 
Russia e che passerà anche per la Serbia.

Vedi anche: L'Azerbaigian si ritira dal Nabucco


The Nabucco West Project Comes to an End

, 13.  2013.

Azerbaijan's decision to transport its natural gas via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline instead of 
the proposed Nabucco West pipeline will create new challenges for countries through which 
Nabucco West would have passed. The energy consortium that is developing Azerbaijan's 
Shah Deniz II field, which will supply natural gas to Europe, officially announced the 
decision June 28. On the day of the announcement, Stratfor wrote that Azerbaijan's 
preference for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline probably was a compromisemeant to placate 
Russia, which wants to continue dominating the energy market in Central Europe, while 
securing access to natural gas export markets beyond Turkey. But the decision also means 
that the Nabucco West project probably will die, and its death will affect the competition 
between the West and Russia for primacy in the region. Hungary and Bulgaria will continue 
to be highly dependent on Russian energy, while Romania will intensify its efforts to develop 
its own energy reserves.


The Nabucco West pipeline, which was backed by the European Union, is a smaller version 
of the Nabucco project, a massive pipeline that would have linked Turkey's Eastern Anatolia 
region to Austria. Nabucco West would have delivered non-Russian Caspian natural gas to 
Central and Southern European countries that have been looking for a way to circumvent 
Russia, which they believe was bullying them with its energy resources. The pipeline would 
have started at the Bulgaria-Turkey border and passed through Romania and Hungary 
before culminating in Austria.

For its part, Russia already is planning to build a pipeline through the route known as the 
Southern Corridor to service Central and Southern European markets. Known as the South 
Stream natural gas pipeline, the project will run from Russia through the Black Sea into 
Bulgaria, and from there it will traverse Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy.

Bulgaria and Hungary

If Nabucco West is shelved -- as we expect it to be -- its would-be transit countries will be 
affected in radically different ways. For Bulgaria and Hungary, the two countries involved in 
both projects, an end to Nabucco West likely means an end to the balancing act they had 
been performing with Moscow and Brussels. For the past two years, Hungary and Bulgaria 
have benefitted from competition between the two pipeline consortia. Moscow gave Sofia 
and Budapest several incentives, including contract discounts, for their support of the South 
Stream pipeline at the expense of Nabucco West. The incentives notwithstanding, these two 
countries now find themselves nearly wholly dependent on Russian natural gas imports for 
the foreseeable future.

The end of Nabucco West validates a key geopolitical trend Stratfor identified long ago: As 
the European Union weakens, Russia is encroaching on Central Europe through commercial 


Romania is perhaps even more concerned about its future after Nabucco West. Originally 
excluded from the South Stream project in favor of Bulgaria, Romania now finds itself 
without an EU-backed intercontinental pipeline project. Nabucco West could have helped 
Romania economically through infrastructure investment and transit tariffs. More 
important, it could have strengthened the fraying ties between Bucharest and the core of the 
European Union.

Interestingly, the end of Nabucco West could prompt Bucharest to expedite the 
development of its own energy resources. Romania has some of the largest hydrocarbon 
reserves in Europe. The country traditionally has been an oil and natural gas producer, but 
depleting fields have forced Bucharest to curb production. Romania still has vast untapped 
unconventional gas plays (shale in particular) and significant offshore deposits that have 
only recently been exploited. The loss of Nabucco West could be the impetus Romania 
needs to develop its energy reserves -- a process that has suffered from the country's 
political upheavals.

Of course, Romania lacks the money and the technology to pursue offshore and 
unconventional deposits by itself. Bucharest will have to try harder to attract foreign 
partners. We expect the government to allow greater participation of foreign firms -- 
probably through joint ventures -- while asserting more control over the energy resources 
themselves. Western and Russian firms already have shown interest in developing one of 
the more attractive "new" energy markets. Western firms hope to turn a profit from 
Romania; Russian firms want to mitigate the threat Romania poses as a potential rival to its 
energy dominance in the region.

Romania is only one component of a much larger competition between the West and Russia 
for primacy in Central Europe. The decision to proceed with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline does 
not determine the outcome for Bulgaria and Hungary -- they can still balance between the 
West and Russia somewhat -- but it does ensure a long complex competition over these 

European Union´s Nabucco pipeline project aborted

By Clara Weiss 
13 July 2013
The Nabucco pipeline project, which was to have transported gas from the Caspian Sea to 
Europe in order to bypass Russia, has been cancelled.

The pipeline, sponsored by the European Union (EU), had already been reduced last 
summer in length from the original 3,900 km to 1,300 km. The eastern section, which was to 
have run from Azerbaijan across Georgia and Turkey to the Bulgarian border, was 
abandoned. Instead, the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), funded by Azerbaijan and 
Turkey, is due to come into operation in 2018.

Nabucco-West, which was to have carried gas from Turkey to Austria, through Bulgaria, 
Romania and Hungary, was the only remaining part of the original project. At the end of 
June, it was announced that this project would also be dropped.

The Shah-Deniz II consortium, which runs the largest gas field in Azerbaijan, awarded the 
contract for the transportation of gas to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which runs 
through Greece and Albania and under the Adriatic Sea to Southern Italy. This route is 500 
km shorter than that proposed by Nabucco-West.

The failure of the Nabucco project was due to a combination of geopolitical factors and 
business considerations.

Although the TANAP and TAP pipelines will reduce Europe´s dependence on Russian 
supplies of gas, its capacity of 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year is only around one 
third of the amount Nabucco was to have carried. This equates to just 1 percent of Europe´s 
total demand. And while Nabucco was a joint European project, Turkey and Azerbaijan are 
behind TANAP and TAP.

The decision to abandon Nabucco was not taken in Brussels, but in Baku. According to 
reports in the Russian media, the Shah-Deniz II consortium invited representatives of the 
Nabucco and TAP projects to the Azerbaijani embassy in Budapest, where the decision in 
favour of TAP was announced.

The Austrian firm OMV, which had promoted Nabucco for years, will be affected most by 
the decision, as well as Bulgaria´s BEH, Romania´s Transgaz, and the Hungarian firm FTSZ. 
These firms would all have profited from the transport of gas. The German firm RWE, which 
had been heavily involved in support of Nabucco, withdrew from the project some time ago.

Rival firm E.on is part of the competing project, together with the Swiss concern AXPO and 
Norway´s Statoil. The latter in turn controls 25.5 per cent of the Shah-Deniz consortium, 
which awarded the contract to TAP.

The second major part owner of Shah-Deniz is BP, which also controls 25.5 per cent. In 
addition, the Azerbaijani state-owned SOCAR (10 per cent), France´s Total, the Russian 
firm LUKOIL, the Iranian State Oil Company (NIOC), and the Turkish firm TPAO are all 

Planning for Nabucco began in 2002. From the start, the pipeline was a joint European and 
American project aimed at undermining Russian influence over the European continent by 
reducing Russian energy imports. Europe currently obtains 36 per cent of its gas and 20 per 
cent of its oil from Russia.

From a technical standpoint, however, the project never got very far. In 11 years, no country 
could be found to be an energy supplier. Iran, Turkmenistan, Egypt and Iraq all pulled out, 
and Azerbaijan finally rejected the idea.

Responding to Nabucco, Russia built the North Stream pipeline, which has been exporting 
gas from Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany since 2011. In this way, it has bypassed 
transit countries such as the Ukraine and Belarus. The pipeline now has two lines and could 
possibly be expanded in the coming years, even though it is currently only supplying gas at 
half of its capacity.

In addition, Russia took on the South Stream project in 2007, which is to export gas from 
Russia, under the Black Sea and through the Balkans to western Europe. Work on South 
Stream began in December 2012, and it should be completed by 2018. The pipeline will be 
capable of supplying 63 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

Although representatives of the EU and the US state department declared their support for 
the decision in favour of TAP, it is a defeat for the EU. It shows how divided member states 
are over questions of energy and foreign policy. Until recently, there was no unanimous 
agreement among EU states to build the Nabucco pipeline.

In Germany, which is economically dependent on Russia but orients politically to 
Washington, there have been sustained conflicts for years over energy policy and relations 
with Russia. Germany obtains 40 per cent of its gas from Russia and is its most important 
trading partner in the EU. Questions of foreign policy orientation and the importing of energy 
from Russia played an important role in the disintegration of the Social Democratic Party 
(SPD)-Green governing coalition in 2005.

While former chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) backed Russia´s NorthStream pipeline, 
Joschka Fischer of the Greens called for greater independence from Russian energy 
imports. In 2009, Fischer became a consultant to the Nabucco consortium. After his election 
defeat, Schröder became chairman of North Stream´s board of management. In April 2012, 
SPD politician Henning Woscherau was elected chairman of the board of directors of the 
South Stream project.

The question of Russian energy supplies also caused divisions throughout the EU. Last 
year, Hungarian president Victor Orbàn announced his country´s exit from the Nabucco 
project after differences with the EU over the state budget. Hungary has continued to 
participate in South Stream, however.

The increased independence of Turkey from Moscow was one of the main goals of the 
southern route from the outset. Turkey is one of the largest importers of Russian gas, but at 
the same time is a key political partner of NATO and the EU in Eurasia and the Caspian 
region. The route will now not be built under the direction of the EU, but instead primarily 
under the control of Turkey and Azerbaijan. The laying of the TANAP and TAP pipelines will 
increase the geopolitical importance of these two countries as EU energy partners.

The failure of the Nabucco project was also caused by the fact that it has not appeared 
economically viable for some time.

Gas expert Rudolf Huber described Nabucco in the Austrian daily Standardas "a relic from 
the past," when the expanding market for gas made investment in long-range pipelines 
more or less secure. Due to the recession, the demand for gas has declined by more than 
11 per cent since 2009. It is not currently clear if the supplies from TAP are required.

Through the development of shale gas in the United States, and the growing significance of 
liquefied gas, the demand on the energy market specifically for natural gas has dropped.

In eastern Europe, where the Nabucco pipeline was to have supplied gas from the Caspian 
region to countries that are highly dependent on Russian gas, governments are seeking to 
develop the production of shale and liquefied gas.

The decline in demand for natural gas and the increased importance of shale and liquefied 
gas has seen the position of Russia´s energy supplier Gazprom sharply weaken. Last year, 
gas exports to Europe from Gazprom dropped by 10 per cent. In 2012, Norway sold more 
gas to the EU than Russia for the first time. The growing role of Azerbaijan as an energy 
supplier for the EU and the TAP will see this tendency intensify.

In comparison with Nabucco-West, TAP emerged as a better business prospect due to the 
smaller number of transit countries. This reduced the costs and political risks involved in the 
business. Almost two thirds of TAP will run over Greek territory.

Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras hailed TAP in a statement as "The most important 
and most positive development in the last ten years for our country." According to Samaras, 
TAP will put Greece "on the international energy map."

Through the EU´s austerity measures, Greece has been forced to privatise the state-
controlled energy company DEPA, as well as the state gas provider DESFA. DESFA was 
bought a few weeks ago by the Azerbaijani state company SOCAR, which is also involved 
in delivering gas for TAP.

While it currently obtains the majority of its gas from Russia, Greece will likely soon become 
one of the largest importers of gas from Azerbaijan. More than three quarters of Greek gas 
and 40 per cent of its oil imports currently come from Russia.

The Albanian government also welcomed the project as a sign of the growing geopolitical 
role of the country. But according to analysts, a worsening of the economic crisis, above all 
in Greece, could place the completion of the TAP project in doubt.

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---  from : jure ellero <glry at> 

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