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Chasing the Rabbit

nabucco.gifThe primary advantage of the Nabucco pipeline (see map, right, taken from The Economist) has long been considered its bypassing of Russia.  Following the January nightmare when Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and much of Europe, new interest was voiced in Europe with regard to this pipeline.  But the project, which has been on shaky ground since 2007 is looking less likely than ever to reach completion after today’s announcement that it has been removed from a European Union list of priority projects – whilst, on the other hand, Russia’s South Stream pipeline won building support from Hungary.

Strangely enough, Gazprom has apparently just turned down an offer to join Nabucco.  The fact that it was asked at all suggests that the project is in peril.  The occasion provided Alexander Medvedev with an opportunity to orate on the disarray that the venture is in, at least, as he sees it, in comparison with Russia’s South Stream pipeline.  From Ria Novosti:

“Unlike in the case of Nabucco, we have everything we need for this project [South Stream] to materialize. We have gas, the market, experience in implementing complex projects, and corporate management.”  The executive said Gazprom was not prepared to split its operations between two projects simultaneously.  “You chase two rabbits, you catch neither. We have a rabbit we know, and we will chase it,” he said.