Friday, July 10, 2009

ENERGY: Gazprom threat to Nabucco overstated? (

TBILISI, Georgia, July 8 (UPI) -- The gas deal between Russian energy giant Gazprom and Azerbaijan will have only a minor impact on the heralded Nabucco pipeline, Georgian analysts say.
The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic and energy monopoly Gazprom signed a deal in June to secure 1.7 billion cubic feet per year from Azerbaijan in 2010.
Analysts say the Russian move into the Caspian region is a sign the Kremlin is seeking to tighten its grip on the European energy market. Gazprom in January cut gas supplies to its Ukrainian counterpart Naftogaz, leaving Europe in the cold as much of its Russian gas travels through Ukrainian transit routes.
Europe has put its hope in energy diversification in the $10.7 Nabucco pipeline, but analysts had worried that the SOCAR-Gazprom deal would undermine European ambitions.
But Tbilisi analysts say that, while Baku is keen on solidifying its relationship with Moscow, Nabucco, with its capacity of 1.1 billion cubic feet, needs more than just Azeri gas to move forward, Georgian Business Week reports.

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