It was also agreed to grant equity options of 50% to participate as shareholders in NIC. The pipeline selection decision for Shah Deniz' European export route is expected to be taken by the Shah Deniz Consortium by 30 June 2013.
We remind that a similar agreement was signed last year between Shah Deniz consortium and Trans Adriatic pipeline (TAP). The two projects are in direct competition for the gas to be produced in the Shah Deniz field and the market expects that only one export route will be chosen to bring the Caspian region gas to Europe. We believe that Nabucco West has high chances to be selected by Shah Deniz II consortium due to the fact that the project is more advanced from the design, technical feasibility studies, intergovernmental approvals point of view. Moreover, bringing the Caspian region gas to Austria’s Baumgarten gas hub provides access to a larger gas market in comparison to South-Europe markets targeted by TAP pipeline.
We see the news as positive for Transgaz, partly because the involvement of new shareholders could reduce the financing burden for Transgaz.