Enough Gas to Go Around?
Speaking at the Gas Infrastructure World Caspian 2010 conference, OMV gas chief Werner Auli said that though markets were soft at present, an anticipated future gas deficit requires the consideration of new gas pipelines.
This opinion was also voiced by Philippe Hochart, Vice-President for the Caspian Region and Iran, Gaz De France Suez.
"We have a lot of gas, but no market to absorb all of these volumes," said Hochart, reflecting on excess supply on the aftermath of the recent economic environment.
Looking forwards though, the situation was quite different said Hochart.
"Based on forecasts, there may be shortage of gas supplies amounting to approximately 70 to 100 billion cubic meters after 2015.”
Auli stressed the important of the Nabucco pipeline project in Europe’s plan to diversify supply sources away from its present dependence on Russia, and on the importance Europe placed on the Caspian region as being an alternative supplier.
"We need to guarantee that Nabucco is carried out. And Azerbaijan is a very promising country in terms of gas supplies. The Shah-Deniz gas condensate field is very large; 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year will be produced here, eight billion of which are to be used for Nabucco. Additional volume could come from other sources in Azerbaijan. That is, most of the gas will come from Azerbaijan", he said.
OMV is a leading participant in the Nabucco consortium, which is also in discussions with Iraq and Turkmenistan for gas supply.
Auli also made mention of the development of shale gas resources in Europe, but said that it would be a long period of tie before shale gas would fit significantly into the supply equation for Europe.
Nabucco and its rival, the South Stream pipeline project, are both jockeying to secure supply from Azerbaijan’s Shan Deniz II project.
Hochart also spoke of whether there was gas available to supply all of the pipeline projects that are planning to serve Europe through the Southern Corridor.
However, Christian Dolezal, a spokesman for Nabucco said that there was plenty of gas to go around.
"Discussions around the distribution of the Shah Deniz II gas volumes have only just started (and) no formal agreements have been reached," he said. "The Nabucco shareholders are leading these discussions on behalf of Nabucco and we are confident that there are enough resources in Azerbaijan and Iraq for Nabucco to come into operation in 2015."