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    EU-Turkey agree on Arab gas pipeline cooperation

    Hurriyet English with wires
    06.05.2008 - 12:18 | Son Güncelleme:

    The EU, Turkey, Iraq and Mashreq countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) reached a consensus on Monday to connect Arabian natural gas pipeline to Turkey, Iraq and the EU through Nabucco and other pipelines at a commission meeting in Brussels.

    The consensus aims to develop regional cooperation in the natural gas sector through the Euro-Arab Mashreq gas market center and extending its participation to Iraq and Turkey said the statement. 

    The EU Commission stated on Monday that a Turkish delegation led by Energy Ministry deputy undersecretary Yusuf Yazar, European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU President Slovenia's economy minister and energy ministers of Arabian countries, who convened in Brussels, agreed on the participation of Turkey and Iraq in the Europe-Arabian Mashreq natural gas cooperation. 

    Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: “The Mashreq countries, Turkey and Iraq, are key energy partners for the EU, and it is important that we fully exploit the potential of our now well-established co-operation."

    "The Arab Gas Pipeline is set to be finalized by the end of the year, opening important possibilities as a new transport route for gas to the EU, particularly for the Nabucco project. This is just one example of how we are working together to integrate our energy markets in our mutual interest.” Ferrero-Waldner added.

    The Arab Gas Pipeline currently runs from Egypt through Jordan to Syria and has a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year. The pipeline, which will be interconnected with Turkey and Iraq by 2009, will provide a new transport route for gas resources from the Mashreq region to the EU. It is expected that, in the future, the pipeline will be connected with the Nabucco project.

    CONFLICT OVER NABUCCO

    Meanwhile, Turkey and European Union have failed to reach consensus over the Nabucco project yet, according to a report published on the ABHaber web site on Monday.

    ABHaber reported that Turkey and the EU failed to reach consensus as Ankara seeks a private strategic agreement with the EU in the Nabucco project. According to website, Turkey demands a reduced price from gas provider, Azarbaijan for the gas it will supply for its internal consumption.

    But the EU rejects this demand saying that Turkey is trying to take the advantage of its strategic geographical condition. The EU also adds that according to EU competition law directives, the same pricing level is set for all participants in the Nabucco project. 

    The Nabucco project  backed by the European Union, would run through Turkey and southeastern Europe to carry gas from the Middle East and Central Asia to Europe, bypassing Russia.

     

    The 3,300-kilometer (2,050-mile) long Nabucco pipeline, with a planned maximum capacity of 31 billion cubic meters per year is slated for construction in 2010 and is aimed at reducing the blocs dependence on Russian supplies. The project is estimated to cost around 4.6 billion euros ($5.8 billion).

     

    Photo: Hurriyet Archives

     

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