News / Economy

Europe Opts for Gas Pipeline Running from Azerbaijan to S. Italy

Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, (R) listens to Trans Adriatic Pipeline's Managing Director Kjetil Tungland (L) after the signing of an host government agreement in Athens, June 26, 2013.Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, (R) listens to Trans Adriatic Pipeline's Managing Director Kjetil Tungland (L) after the signing of an host government agreement in Athens, June 26, 2013.
x
Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, (R) listens to Trans Adriatic Pipeline's Managing Director Kjetil Tungland (L) after the signing of an host government agreement in Athens, June 26, 2013.
Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, (R) listens to Trans Adriatic Pipeline's Managing Director Kjetil Tungland (L) after the signing of an host government agreement in Athens, June 26, 2013.
George Putic
A European consortium aiming to build a natural gas pipeline from Azerbaijan to Western Europe has rejected a costlier, longer version called Nabucco in favor of the more modest Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project.

The Austrian-led consortium seeking to supply natural gas to power-hungry Western Europe says it has chosen the proposed Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will run about 800 kilometers through Turkey, Greece and Albania, crossing the Adriatic Sea and ending in southern Italy.

The consortium rejected Nabucco West, a more expensive project that would have built a 1,300-kilometer pipeline running through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Austria.

After a host government agreement was signed Wednesday in Athens, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said the project will boost the economy of his debt-ridden country.

I believe it will bring jobs to our country, he said, adding that Greece will become an "energy hub for the region."

The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline is financed mainly by Norwegian, Swiss and German oil and gas companies.

The project is seen as the main competitor for the European market against the Russian-financed South Stream pipeline.  South Stream will run from Kazakhstan and Russia through Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, and then connect with European pipelines in Austria.

Industrialized European nations want to lower their dependence on Russian natural gas, which at the moment makes up about 30 percent of European gas imports.
The scrapped Nabucco West pipeline would have passed through many of the same Eastern European countries as South Stream, swapping Serbia for Romania.

But U.S. Heritage Foundation analyst Ariel Cohen says the Europeans did not do a good job planning and implementing the Nabucco project.
 
“Too many national oil companies are run like government bureaucracies and not like businesses, so in terms of planning and execution, in terms of lacking finances, the Europeans did not do a good job," said Cohen.
 
However, Cohen says the decision to build the smaller TAP pipeline is an achievement, especially for Azerbaijan.
 
“Because this is the first gas pipeline from the former Soviet Union that is not controlled by Russia," said Cohen. "This is a precedent and a model for Europe to get gas by pipelines from the Caspian [Sea] region or from other regions without the Russian control.”
 
The pipeline is expected to become operational in 2019, pumping 10-billion cubic meters of gas per year to Europe.

You May Like

Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursionsi
X
Zlatica Hoke
August 28, 2014 4:07 AM
Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursions

Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.