11/5/2008

EU energy chief to Turkey for Nabucco pipeline talks

Hurriyet English - The EU’s top energy official will travel to Turkey today to press Ankara to complete talks about transporting natural gas from the Caucasus to Western Europe via Turkey. The visit of EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalg indicates that the EU remains committed to the Nabucco pipeline project that faces stiff competition from Russia, diplomats told AP. The EU wants to ease its dependence on Russia for energy. Moscow’s negotiations with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to direct their Caspian Sea gas supplies westward through Russia, has worried the European Union. Piebalg is confident the EU and Turkey can close a Nabucco transmission deal by the end of the year. The Nabucco project plans to transport Caspian and Middle Eastern gas via Turkey to an Austrian gas hub passing through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.