French energy firm GDF Suez has bought into the Nabucco pipeline project via a sale by Austrian OMV. GDF Suez bought a 9 percent stake in the project for an undisclosed sum, according to news organization Bloomberg.
“Having GDF Suez as new partner for Nabucco West is another milestone for the project. It proves that we are on the right way to provide Europe with more gas and to secure new sources of gas for the future.” said OMV’s CEO Gerhard Roiss, quoted by Bloomberg.
The Nabucco pipeline project aims to supply natural gas from Azerbaijan's holdings in the Caspian Sea to Europe and Romania is an important part of the project, with plans for the pipeline to cross Romania and state gas supply company Transgaz and Austrian OMV, the parent company of Romanian oil and gas company Petrom, involved in the scheme. GDF Suez now becomes a shareholder in the pipeline, joining Transgaz and OMV, as well as FGSZ (Hungary), BEH (Bulgaria) and BOTAS from Turkey.
The project has been scaled down from the original plans and is now referred to as Nabucco West.
Romanian state gas company Transgaz contributed EUR 10.2 million to the budget of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH (NIC) in the first half of 2012, corresponding to a 16.6 percent participation in the project.
The Nabucco company project was created in 2004, with the aim to develop and run the Nabucco gas pipeline connecting the Eastern Turkish border to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania and Austria. The pipeline would thus connect the natural gas rich Caspian and Middle East regions to European markets.
When completed the 3,900 km pipeline’s annual capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters. The main pipeline will be built in one phase, with construction set to start in 2013 and the first gas to flow in 2017.