Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nabucco: more off than on

In continuing with the Nabucco natural gas pipeline saga – from bad, to worse, to maybe a bit better) – the project is dealt another blow: this time by the Bulgarians, who have defected to the South Stream project, Russia's rival proposal for a gas pipeline. The point of Nabucco was for the EU to receive energy from the BTE pipeline which originated in the Caspian without going through Russia. The already existing length of pipeline, which originates in Baku, continues through Georgia, and terminates in Turkey, is what is throwing the Nabucco project into trouble. The conflict in Georgia raised the risk premium on the pipeline, which explains why countries in the Caspian are wavering on their promises to supply the various non-Russian pipelines and why the Nabucco extension is in jeopardy. This likely was an intended consequence of Russia's invasion of Georgia.

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