March 24, 2012
Nabucco – the alleged gas Holy Grail from the Caspian Sea to Europe, 4,000 kilometers from Turkey to Austria – is the perennial Pipelineistan soap opera.
Part of the gas to supply Nabucco may come from Azerbaijan. Another part might – a very problematic “might” – come from Turkmenistan. But every self-respecting energy analyst knows Nabucco could only possibly work if it was supplied by natural gas from Iran. That will happen over Washington’s collective dead body.
So, once again, the spineless European Union (EU) political “leadership” – once again acting like the poodles of choice – gloriously sabotaged what it has always billed as its most ambitious energy project; caved in to US pressure; and ultimately sacrificed its energy independence. And all this from people who never lose an opportunity to decry that Europe is a “gas hostage” to Russia’s Gazprom.
As with all things Pipelineistan, there are layers and layers of nuance. Moscow is pulling out all the stops to prevent Iran from eventually joining Nabucco – because its top policy agenda is to extend its stranglehold over the EU’s gas supply to 30%.
The crucial Azerbaijan gas angle is centered on the huge Shah Deniz 2 fields. For what is called the Southern Corridor, via Italy, two possible pipelines are in competition. Then there are two others competing on a Northern/Balkans route; one of them is Nabucco; the other, faithful to the acronym-laden ethos of Pipelineistan, is the South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP). Only next year will the world know the end chapter for this never-ending soap opera.
This article was posted: Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 4:31 am