However, Nabucco’s smaller rivals remained silent before the deadline to submit their technical and commercial proposals to Baku.
Nabbuco’s offer came only a few days after a fourth competitor emerged to buy and sell natural gas for the Azerbaijani soil.
British Petroleum may offer Baku to build a 1,300-kilometer alternative pipeline, according to a Financial Times report last week.
“The scheme is a new entrant in the highly charged competition to build a supply route to the Caspian basin,” the paper said.
The BP plan is to carry gas through Turkey and then to the Romanian-Hungarian border.
Along with Nabucco, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline and the Interconnector-Turkey- Greece-Italy, or ITGI, schemes were also expected to sumbit their offers to the Azerbaijan’s state-run Socar on Saturday, but no official announcements had been made by the time the Hürriyet Daily News went to print Sunday evening.
Azerbaijan is expected to decide which project to prioritize before the end of 2011.
“We are convinced that Nabucco offers the best way to transport gas from Azerbaijan and other countries,” Nabucco Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek said in a statement.
“Nabucco is Europe’s flagship project for the Southern Corridor. It is cost-effective and competitive,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
He said Nabucco’s intergovernmental agreement and project support deals ensured backing for the pipeline.
Some analysts argue that Nabucco’s aim of transporting up to 31 billion cubic metres of gas a year is too ambitious and point to delays in the project timetable as a sign that it will not get off the ground.
Nabucco is backed by OMV, Germany’s RWE , Hungary’s MOL , Turkey’s Botas, BEH of Bulgaria and Romania’s Transgaz. The consortium said Friday that Germany’s Bayerngas also intends to join.
The European Union supports Nabucco as a means of reducing the continent’s reliance on Russian energy.
Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II gas field, which is being developed by BP, Statoil and Socar, is estimated to contain 1.2 trillion cubic metres of gas, which European companies hope can supply them for decades. k HDN