Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Romania optimistic on Turkmen Nabucco gas

ASHGABAT, July 22 (Reuters) - Romanian President Traian Basescu said on Wednesday he was optimistic about Turkmen gas supplies for the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline, a project intended to ease Europe's energy dependence on Russia.

Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said earlier this month his country was ready to supply gas for Nabucco. His statement followed a row with Turkmenistan's main partner Russia, which stopped importing Turkmen gas in April.

"Turkmenistan's position on energy security issues makes Romania optimistic on the prospects of the country's (Turkmenistan's) participation in the Nabucco project," Basescu said at a meeting with Berdymukhamedov on his visit to the Central Asian nation.

He said Romania was also interested in tapping Turkmenistan's potentially huge gas reserves. Berdymukhamedov urged closer cooperation."Today's reality demonstrates the need for joint efforts in energy supply diversification by producing countries as well as consumers and transit nations," he said.Turkmenistan produces over 70 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually and used to sell about 50 bcm a year to Russia. (Reporting by Marat Gurt; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov)

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