U.S. Official: Caspian Pipelines No Threat to Gazprom

From Ria Novosti:

Pipelines in the Caspian region bypassing Russia do not spell confrontation with the country’s energy giant Gazprom, a senior United States official said Wednesday. Speaking at an oil conference in Azerbaijan’s capital, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Matthew Bryza said the U.S. welcomed supplies to Europe via the well-developed pipeline network run by Gazprom, but that U.S.-Russia energy relations would only gain from robust competition. … Bryza said in 2012-2015 that Azerbaijan would supply Europe with 12 billion cu m of gas from its Shakh Deniz field alone, raise supplies to 15 billion by 2015, and increase them further by 2015-2020. At the forum in Baku, Bryza urged investment in Nabucco, the $6 billion gas pipeline project to link the energy-rich Caspian Sea to Europe, bypassing Russia. He cited independent experts who said transiting 1,000 cu m of gas via the pipeline, expected to go on stream in 2011, would cost $2.5.