Vladimir Putin must be laughing his arse off.
Europe doesn’t want fracking (e.g., Bulgaria has banned it and France is working on a ban) and now the giant welfare state is choking on the mere €8 billion cost of a gas pipeline from Azerbaijan that would reduce the continent’s reliance on Russian gas.
The Financial Times reports,
The consortium behind one of Europe’s most ambitious infrastructure projects – the Nabucco gas pipeline – is considering ways of scaling back the venture after recent moves by Turkey and Azerbaijan raised questions about its viability.
Named after the Verdi opera, Nabucco was first mooted 10 years ago as a means of reducing the European Union’s dependence on Russian energy imports by bringing gas from the Caspian Basin into the heart of Europe via a new southern corridor.
But its €8bn price tag is high, and its investors, which include Austria’s OMV and German utility RWE, have so far failed to sign any supply contracts. Some critics wonder if they will ever have enough gas to fill the pipeline…