Europe must pull together and commit itself to backing the Nabucco gas pipeline with firm funding pledges to reduce reliance on Russian gas. This was a main item at an energy security conference in Bulgaria, well-attended by buyers and sellers — leading companies and high-level national and EU representatives, including Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
Barroso said: “There is much talk about EU’s dependence on energy imports but in fact all of us consuming, producing and transitting countries alike are becoming more and more dependent on each other. Security of supply is important for all of us. But other countries seek security of demand. This is indeed the age of energy interdependence.”
The EU’s flagship Nabucco project aims to bring Caspian gas to Europe bypassing Russia, for which Turkey is indispensable. The Moscow-backed South Stream pipeline would pump Russian gas to Europe under the Black Sea.
Both Brussels and Moscow have been competing to sign up enough gas suppliers to back their respective projects, beset by financial difficulty. One European shareholder stressed that Europe and Turkey’s political leaders must commit clearly or risk supply countries and investors seeking other interested parties.