Agreement to build the Nabucco gas pipeline
IP/06/842 Commissioner Piebalgs welcomes agreement to accelerate Nabucco gas pipeline project
Brussels, Belgium – The Energy Ministers of Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey together with Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs agreed to accelerate commercial, regulatory and legal work to build the Nabucco gas pipeline in the shortest possible time.
The agreement was signed in the form a joint declaration at the end of a ministerial conference on Nabucco that took place 2006-06-26 in Vienna. The pipeline is critical to the long-term necessity for Europe to connect its gas market to the Caspian region and is likely to be the first of many supply routes through Southern Europe. The European Union had conceived a scenario in which 10 – 15% of its gas would come from this region by 2025.
“Gas is essential to the European economy. The European Commission is actively guiding investments into transmission and is hoping to assist in overcoming the technical and commercial issues involved in bringing gas through many jurisdictions to the EU”, Commissioner Piebalgs said.
"The Nabucco Gas Pipeline is one of the most important European Energy Projects, which allows the EU to diversify its transport routes and gas supplier countries," President of the EU Energy Council, Dr. Martin Bartenstein, said.
The Ministerial Conference brings together the Energy Ministers of Austria Martin Bartenstein, Hungary, János Kóka, Romania, Ioan-Codurt ?ere?, Bulgaria, Rumen Stoyanov Ovcharov and Turkey Mehemet Hilmi Güler and Energy Commissioner Andris PIebalgs together with members of the Industry, the International Energy Agency and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The Nabucco pipeline, which runs from the Caspian basin through Turkey to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, was identified as one of the priority projects of common interest under the guidelines for Trans-European energy networks. It could deliver annually between up to 31 Billion cubic meters of natural gas to the EU markets.
The project will thus enhance the diversification of energy supplies to the EU as it will provide an additional natural gas supply route from the Caspian region and the Middle East to the EU. Upgrading and construction of new energy infrastructures was identified as one of the priorities for securing and diversifying of the EU energy supplies by the Commission’s Green Paper on a European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy and highlighted by the European Council of Heads of States and Governments of 23 and 24 March 2006.
 DECISION No 1229/2003/EC of the European parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003