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Oil report

INTERVIEW-World Bank says willing to support Nabucco

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ISTANBUL, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The World Bank said on Wednesday it is willing to give financial support to the Nabucco natural gas pipeline project if agreement over gas-sourcing was reached between consortium members and gas-supplying countries.

The Nabucco line was conceived as a way to bring energy supplies to Europe while bypassing Russia, but problems such as funding, sources for natural gas and lack of agreement between the Nabucco consortium members have plagued the project.

“If Europe and Turkey and gas supplying countries can come to a final agreement to allow the World Bank to enter, we are open to financial support,” World Bank Turkey Director Ulrich Zachau told Reuters on Wednesday.

“This is dependent on the countries involved,” he added.

Turkey has also been accused of foot-dragging by analysts as Ankara wants a portion of the gas flowing through the pipeline for its own domestic use.

The demand has led to discord among consortium members, which include Austria's OMV OMVV.VI, Hungary's MOL MOLB.BU, Romania's Transgaz TGNM.BX, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, Turkey's Botas and Germany's RWE RWEG.DE.

The price of the 3,300 km (2,051 miles) pipeline is currently considered at 7.9 billion euros, though the pipeline’s Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek has said lower steel prices may cause the consortium to revise that price lower. (Reporting by Ceyda Caglayan; Editing by Keiron Henderson)

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