ASTANA SEEN FROM ROMANIA (Astana vista dalla Romania)

The State Secretary of the Romanian Ministry of Economy, Tudor Sherban, spoke in an interview with Trend Capital correspondent.

Cooperation in energy was discussed during the eighth session of the Kazakh-Romanian inter-governmental commission on trade and economic cooperation in Astana today. You mentioned two projects - "Nabucco" and "Constanta - Trieste".

How does Romania appreciate Kazakhstan's participation in two these projects?

We think that the role of Kazakhstan in the Nabucco project is very important. Kazakhstan has its own gas reserves. It is known that Kazakhstan participates in some projects in Turkmenistan. So, certain gas reserves can be directed to the "Nabucco" from there.

Moreover, part of those gas volumes, which are under contracts with Russia, can be also supplied to "Nabucco". But it will be possible with the consent of all parties. The recent visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Turkey encourages on this regards.

As Romania is involved in "Nabucco", I think that it will be possible to agree in coordination with other partners given other projects which Russia promotes in our region (the Balkans).

Azerbaijan is important partner for us in the Caspian region. it is our reliable gas supplier. We know that Azerbaijan has expressed its intention to participate with its gas in the Nabucco project. We welcome and fully support this decision. Moreover, Azerbaijan has strategically important location in the junction of transportation routes.

I would like to inform that Romania has plans to build a new terminal in Constanta for liquefied gas storage.

How do you appreciate Kazakhstan's participation in the project pipeline 'Constanta - Trieste'?

The Kazakh side made a request to participate in the negotiations on the project a year ago. It means for us that Kazakhstan is interested in participating in this project. At present, the project of "Constanta - Trieste" pipeline is at the stage of organizing. A consortium has been already established and its head has been appointed. But, unfortunately, one of the participants of the project - Croatia has blocked the course of negotiations and actions.

But the issue concerning drawing investments will occur soon, when goals of each company from the countries-participants of the project, through which the pipeline is laid, are defined.

From our point of view, Kazakhstan will be able to participate in this project, along with Romania. If it enters with investments, it will automatically mean that Kazakhstan can have certain package of shares.

What Kazakh share is indicated in the project?

It is difficult to name any specific figure without development of feasibility study. But when it is ready, it will be known about shares of all sides after determining the cost. Kazakhstan will be able to join the project as oil supplier in future. Thus, Kazakhstan can enter the center of Europe through Romania, providing its oil via Constanta - Trieste pipeline.

It dealt with establishment of energy bridge of Batumi - Constanta at one time. What are its prospects?

We hope that the geopolitical climate in the South Caucasus will stabilize. Georgia has great importance to ensure transit routes and gas, oil and other goods supplies, to Europe. We hope that the situation will normalize, because one can not talk about politics without economy, and Batumi is an important transportation hub in the region.

Moreover, the Black Sea and Batumi port are direct access to Europe. Therefore, stabilization of the situation in Georgia is in interests of the same Caspian countries to have direct access to the Black Sea.

How do you assess entry of the national KazMunaiGaz on the Romanian market by buying shares of Rompetrol?

Positively. At present, our companies, including the national oil company, OMV, faced with fierce competition in the person of KMG. But these are the laws of the market. It is very good. As a recommendation, I would like to advise KMG to be more transparent with the Romanian public authorities.

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