Gas Bridge Between Asia and Europe to Bring New Energy Supply
Currently, Europe's ability to power itself is almost completely dependant on Russian energy supplies. Today, almost half of the EU's natural gas imports come from Russia along with 30 percent of its oil supplies. As such, there is an increasing desire to diversify the continent's energy suppliers -- enter the Nabucco Pipeline.
Dubbed the 'Gas bridge between Asia and Europe', the €7.9 billion, 3300km-long pipeline will attempt to break Russian dependency by exploiting the gas reserves in the Caspian and Middle East regions. Snaking through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and into Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic, the Nabucco Pipeline with send supplies from Iraq and Azerbaijan straight into Europe.
The need for the continent to ween itself off Russian energy was highlighted last year when Russia cut off Ukraine's gas supplies during the winter due to unpaid bills. However, Russia isn't planning on standing by and doing nothing -- two pipelines Nord Stream and South Stream, run by Russia gas giant Gazprom -- will start providing gas to the Balkans and Europe before the Nabucco Pipeline becomes operational. Russia has already secured Italy's custom with the South Stream pipeline, whilst Germany is planning to secure a large percentage of its gas from Nord Stream.