The Nabucco pipeline (also referred as Turkey–Austria gas pipeline) is a proposed natural gas pipeline from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March in Austria diversifying natural gas suppliers and delivery routes for Europe. The pipeline attempts to lessen European dependence on Russian energy. The project is backed by several European Union states and the United States and is seen as rival to the Gazprom-Eni South Stream pipeline project. At the same time, there are some doubts concerning viability of supplies. The main supplier is expected to be Iraq with potential supplies from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Egypt.
Preparations for the Nabucco project started in 2002 and the intergovernmental agreement between Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria was signed on 13 July 2009. The project is being developed by a consortium of six companies. If built, the pipeline is expected to be operational by 2017. The consortium has submitted also a modified project called Nabucco-West, which does not include the Turkish section of the pipeline.
As of 2012, some analysts declare Nabucco is unlikely to be built due to changed political situation and competing projects. The final investment decision by the Nabucco consortium is expected in 2012.
Economic and political aspects
The Nabucco pipeline will supply only a limited number of countries in South-East and Central Europe. The project has been criticized as uneconomic because there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient gas supplies to make it profitable. Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has stated "speaking about the Nabucco pipeline without Iran's participation would amount to nothing but a pipeline void of gas". Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made similar remarks. The deputy chairman of the Russia's State Duma Energy Committee Ivan Grachev has questioned the viability of the Nabucco project and sees it as an attempt to put pressure on Russia. This is supported by Russia's gas deals with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, which by some observers has been seen as attempt to reserve potential Nabucco supplies. Azerbaijan has stated that the gas will be transported only through those routes, which would be commercially most attractive. Also the opening of the Central Asia – China gas pipeline and the agreements to build the South Stream pipeline has been seen as the end of Nabucco project.
However, before the raise of project's costs and the proposal of modified project, RWE had claimed that the transportation of natural gas through the Nabucco pipeline would be cheaper than through South Stream or other alternative pipelines. According to RWE, the transportation of thousand cubic meters of gas from Shah Deniz field to Europe will cost through the Nabucco pipeline €77 versus €106 through the South Stream pipeline.
Deep beneath "Damascus volcano" and "the battle of Aleppo", the tectonic plates of the global energy chessboard keep on rumbling. Beyond the tragedy and grief of civil war, Syria is also a Pipelineistan power play.
More than a year ago, a $10 billion Pipelineistan deal was clinched between Iran, Iraq and Syria for a natural gas pipeline to be built by 2016 from Iran's giant South Pars field, traversing Iraq and Syria, with a possible extension to Lebanon. Key export target market: Europe.
During the past 12 months, with Syria plunged into civil war, there was no pipeline talk. Up until now. The European Union's supreme paranoia is to become a hostage of Russia's Gazprom. The Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline would be essential to diversify Europe's energy supplies away from Russia.
It gets more complicated. Turkey happens to be Gazprom's second-largest customer. The whole Turkish energy security architecture depends on gas from Russia - and Iran. Turkey dreams of becoming the new China, configuring Anatolia as the ultimate Pipelineistan strategic crossroads for the export of Russian, Caspian-Central Asian, Iraqi and Iranian oil and gas to Europe.
Try to bypass Ankara in this game, and you're in trouble. Until virtually yesterday, Ankara was advising Damascus to reform - and fast. Turkey did not want chaos in Syria. Now Turkey is feeding chaos in Syria. Let's examine one of the key possible reasons.
I went down to the crossroads
Syria is not a major oil producer; its reserves are dwindling. Yet until the outbreak of civil war, Damascus was making a hardly negligible $4 billion a year in oil sales - a third of the government budget.
Syria is way more important as an energy crossroads, much like Turkey - but on a smaller scale. The key point is that Turkey needs Syria to fulfill its energy strategy.
Damascus was certainly pursuing a very complex two-pronged strategy - at the same time linking with Turkey (and Iraqi Kurdistan) but also bypassing Turkey and incorporating Iran.
In-depth coverage of escalating violence across Syria
With Syria mired in civil war, no global investor would even dream of playing Pipelineistan. Yet in a post-Assad scenario all options are open. Everything will hinge on the future relationship between Damascus and Ankara, and Damascus and Baghdad.
In a statement, Obama said he accepted Petraeus’s resignation on Friday.
"By any measure, through his lifetime of service, David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger," Obama said of the four-star general, who led American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"In his mind, in his views, with his code of ethics and morals, he did a very dishonorable thing," the official said. "This had nothing to do with Benghazi, nothing to do with his relationship with the White House."
Petraeus was appointed CIA director in April 2011, replacing Leon Panetta, who moved to the Pentagon to become defense secretary.
RUSSIA JOINS THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST NABUCCO PROJECT ACCOMPLISHMENT
Intergovernmental agreement on the gas pipeline Nabucco construction lying round Russia forces Russian authorities to activate negotiations on construction of the lobbying pipeline “South Stream”. According to experts Russia will use all available means to attract partners to “South Stream”.
Russian authorities call not to politicize the process of Nabucco pipeline construction. Particularly, the source in the Ministry of Foreign Affair of the Russian Federation informed Interfax about it. “We are assured, that all gas transporting network projects should be based not on geopolitical views, but first of all on cost-effectiveness”, - underlined the diplomat.
“South Stream” will lie along the bottom of the Black Sea from Novorossiysk to Bulgarian seaport of Varna. Further one branch of the pipeline will lie through the Balkan Peninsula to Italy, and the second through Hungary to Austria.
He is convinced that “meanwhile, we say the same about Nabucco”. “To our view, it is still not clear about the guaranteed resources base, and in these conditions the risks of investments enhance multiply”, - said the diplomat. According to his comments, “it all results into prolongation of the terms of Nabucco accomplishment”.
The fate of the European Nabucco project will be decided in the middle of this year. Experts link this to the progress in the talks between Turkey and Azerbaijan on the construction of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP). Official Baku says that it plans to sign an agreement soon. Amid the above-mentioned events, the European press is actively criticizing Azerbaijan, warning again of the danger of the Russian South Stream project.
The launching of the TANAP gas pipeline may finally change the concept of gas supplies to South Europe, which is currently developing within the framework of the South Corridor Project and provides for the construction of three gas pipelines, including ITGI (Turkey- Greece- Italy), TAP (Turkey-Albania-Italy), and Nabucco( the Caspian Sea Region-Turkey-Europe). This corridor is meant for the diversification of gas supplies to Europe – meaning, first of all, efforts to decrease its dependence on the Russian gas.
It was planned that the Nabucco gas pipeline, which is due to connect the Russian Caspian Sea Region with Turkey, would play a pivotal role here. After the presentation of this project, there appeared forecasts that Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan would become the suppliers for it. For objective reasons, only Baku can become the supplier today - only after the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas field is launched. In the current situation the Nabucco needs automatically put under threat the implementation of the South Corridor Project, Head of the National Energy Security Foundation Konstantin Simonov says.
(Reuters) - Russia is "deeply concerned" by reports that each side in the Syrian conflict is enlisting and arming Palestinian refugees and said on Friday they should be kept out of the fighting.
Syria hosts more than 500,000 Palestinian refugees, according to United Nations figures.
"We call for the participants of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic to show restraint and do all possible for Palestinian refugees not to be dragged into the Syrian confrontation and for places of their residence not to become objects of hostility," the Foreign Ministry said.
Syrian rebels killed 10 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a faction loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, in a clash near the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk in Damascus on Wednesday.
After that incident, Syria's Foreign Ministry said Damascus would stand "with full determination against any attempt to drag the Palestinians into what is happening in Syria".
“The West isn’t doing enough, and other countries like Saudi Arabia are pushing their Islamic agenda by giving the rebels financial support,” Saeb said.
The Syrian opposition is divided, and there are fears that if and when the Assad regime falls there’ll be continued violence between rival factions…
Mercredi 9 mai 2012
SYRIA, THE CENTER OF THE GAS WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The media and military attack against Syria is directly related to the global competition for energy, as explained by Professor Imad Shuebi in the masterly article we publish. At a time when the euro area threatens to collapse, where an acute economic crisis led the U.S. into debt up to 14 940 billion, and where their influence is dwindling in the face of emerging powers BRICS , it becomes clear that the key to réusite economic and political dominance lies mainly in controlling the energy of the 21st century: the gas. This is because it is at the heart of the most colossal gas reserve in the world that Syria is being targeted. The war of the last century were those of oil, but a new era, that of the gas wars.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians have realized that the arms race had exhausted them, especially in the absence of supply of energy necessary for any industrialized country. Instead, the U.S. had been able to develop and decide on international politics without much difficulty because of their presence in the oil areas for decades. This is why the Russians decided to turn to position themselves on energy sources, as well as gas oil. Whereas the oil sector, given its international division, offered no prospects, Moscow counted on the gas, its production, its transport and large-scale commercialization.