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Consortium Rejects Nabucco Pipeline

An Austrian-led consortium that hoped to build a 1,300 kilometer pipeline to deliver Azeri natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe says its plan has been rejected.

The consortium, led by the Austrian energy company OMV, said in a statement Wednesday that Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II consortium had informed it that its proposed Nabucco West pipeline was not chosen.

The Nabucco West pipeline, which would have run from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, could have reduced Europe's reliance on Russia for gas.

In rejecting Nabucco West, the Shah Deniz II consortium, comprising Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR, Norway's Statoil and France's Total, has apparently opted for the rival Trans Adriatic Pipeline . That more modest 800-kilometer-long pipeline would run through Greece and Albania, and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy.

Russia's state gas monopoly Gazprom has begun construction on South Stream, a 2,500 kilometer pipeline that will run from Russia to northern Italy via Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia.

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