Hungary PM Says Nabucco Gas Pipeline Is 'In Trouble' -Report
First Published Monday, 23rd April 2012 09:24 pm - © 2012 Dow Jones
BUDAPEST -(Dow Jones)- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday expressed strong doubts regarding the future of the Nabucco natural-gas pipeline, the Origo.hu news website reported.
"Nabucco is in big trouble," Orban said at a lecture delivered in Brussels.
He also said that MOL Nyrt (MOL.BU), the Hungarian member of the implementing Nabucco consortium, is considering exiting the investment. "I'm no expert of the subject, but what I see is that even the Hungarian company is leaving the entire venture," Orban said.
MOL reaffirmed the prime minister's doubts, telling state news agency MTI that both the project's financing as well as the source of the natural gas going into the pipeline are uncertain.
"We remain committed to diversifying gas supplies to Central and Eastern Europe but as an independent company, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to produce the best business results," the company said.
In contrast, the Nabucco consortium, which also comprises Austria's OMV AG (OMV.VI), Romania Trans S.A., Bulgaria's Bulgargaz EAD, Turkey's Botas and Germany's RWE AG (RWE.XE), gave an optimistic reaction following Orban's statement.
"The Nabucco gas pipeline project is progressing successfully. Every transit nation has signed the project support agreement, hammering out the final legal framework for the investment," the company said.
Nabucco was originally conceived to represent an alternative source of natural gas to Europe other than Russia. It has yet to seal an agreement to secure supplies from Azerbaijan, which is the only viable option it has on the table.
Newspaper website: www.origo.hu
-Budapest Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +36 30 452 3980