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Nabucco Investment Decision By Q1 at Latest

Source: Reuters 8/4/2010, Location: Europe

The final investment decision for the planned Nabucco gas pipeline will be made in the first quarter of next year at the very latest, an official for Nabucco shareholder OMV said on Wednesday.

The decision will be made after Nabucco's owners have determined demand for the pipeline in a so-called open season process, probably in the fourth quarter of this year, OMV's gas chief Werner Auli told a news conference.

The Vienna-based Nabucco consortium has said it plans a final investment decision by the end of 2010 but the overall project has already been subject to several delays.

The decision is one of the main steps towards realising the European Union-backed pipeline, which aims to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian gas.

"The open season process should happen in Q4," Auli told journalists in OMV's news conference to present second-quarter results.

"The final investment decision could happen this year or in the first quarter of 2011 at the latest," he said.

Auli said it was still possible complete the process this year because the open season process should take around three months.

Nabucco's other shareholders include Hungary's MOL, Romania's Transgaz, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, Turkey's Botas and Germany's RWE.

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