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Two pipes2010-03-11 23:37
The great gas-project confrontation between Europe and Russia in the Caucasus and the Black Sea region may theoretically turn into harmonious cooperation. Eni, an Italian company which is Gazprom's partner in the South Stream project suggested combining this project with the anti-Russian Nabucco project that is very popular in Georgia. The competition between the future pipes is based not only upon the economic benefit but on political grounds as well, which fact will obviously prevent combining two projects into one.
Russia has been once invited to join the Nabucco project as a shareholder and supplier. However, these were the occasionally spoken words and no one had expected a proposal made by the Russian Gazprom's partner Paolo Scaroni, who is heading Eni.
He spoke for uniting the European sectors of the two competing projects, South Stream and Nabucco. The first pipeline running along the bottom of the Black Sea is going to be laid by Russia, which has got a sufficient resource base and has not yet signed the agreements with the countries where the pipeline will run. The second pipeline located a bit south of South Stream will be constructed by several European countries at once; they have already signed agreements with the transit states but have not yet found reliable gas sources.
However, both pipes exist only on the map so far. Neither Europe, nor Russia is eager to start the works because of the world crisis.
If the two pipelines are connected in the European territory, the expenses of both the projects will be reduced, while the coefficient of efficiency is going to grow. This fact was stressed by Paolo Scaroni during the CERAweek conference held in Huston.
The news about the suggestion of combining the incompatible projects was commented upon to GeorgiaTimes by Georgian economical expert Vladimir Papava. According to him, the decision is to be made by the consumer himself, that is, by European Union.
"Europe might agree to unite the projects but then it will be the same as constructing South Stream because it will be one and the same Russian project. And if European Union does not want to depend on the Russian supplies it must support the Nabucco project which runs bypassing Russia", - he stated.