An Aria di Dispiacere for Nabucco

by Asher Kohn on 2/3/2010 · 2 comments

Many thanks to the good folks of Eternal Remont (“The floor of the Moscow Metro with a sweet candy coating.”) for bringing this to my attention: The director of the Nabucco Pipeline has given up on the uniting ideal behind the Nabucco Pipeline.

“Nabucco is not designed to substitute Russian gas…Nabucco is designed to offer complementary alternative gas quantities.”

No, that’s not what it was designed for. It was designed to give Europe an energy source independent of Russia. That’s why it’s called Nabucco.

This was all dead on arrival anyways when Turkmenistan signed on to give Iran 20bn m3 of gas annually. Or maybe it was dead on arrival when it turns out that Turkmenistan may not have enough gas to keep Russia and Iran (and, you know, itself) supplied after some reserve estimation went awry. And it definitely looked toast when Blue Stream became a reality.

All of the sudden, Europe is balancing between Nigeria, Russia, or Iran for its energy needs (other sources exist, of course, so if you want to convince me that Indonesia or something is the secret, just wiki and reply). It’s been effectively closed out from Central Asia unless it deals with one of the two latter.

I hate the sort of journalism that talks about the “door to Central Asia” and some such tropes, but unless Europe gets creative, it looks like it doesn’t have the key. And if some folks in the Caucasus start reading Global Guerillas? Then let’s hope that creativity comes all-the-more quickly.


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– author of 33 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Asher is currently in law school at Washington University in Saint Louis. He is studying natural resource law in Central Asia and its intersection with different theories of jurisprudence. Besides Registan.net, Asher has written for The Los Angeles Times, Run of Play, İstanbul Altı, and Istanbul Eats. He has worked with the Natural Resource Law Center and the International Crisis Group, where he studied legal and political traction over a variety of issues.

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{ 2 comments }

Michael February 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Iran and Russia, but no mention of China?

Alex Visotzky February 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm

It’s not really an issue, in my mind, of Europe being creative, it’s just that they’ve failed to really put any significant capital out there to support the project. When it comes to energy security, China and Russia are handing Europe’s collective ass to them because they’re willing to, you know, actually do something instead of just ditheringly discussing developments dolorously during Decembers.

Nabucco wouldnt just be taking Turkmen gas (how much Turkmen gas there actually is is anyone’s guess) but Kazakh gas, right?

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