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Connecting the world’s richest gas regions

WorleyParsons has been awarded the contract for engineering services for the Nabucco Pipeline project, which will directly connect the world's richest gas regions - the Caspian Region and the Middle East - to European consumer markets.

WorleyParsons will work in close collaboration with proponent Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH (NIC) and the subsidiary companies of NIC in each of the transit countries on the review and verification of design, the review and modelling of capital and operational expenditure, the management of engineering activities, and the design of compressor stations.WorleyParsons will also manage the relationship with the local front-end engineering and design engineers.

Nabucco is the largest European infrastructure project in terms of the number of countries involved. The approximately 3,900 km, 56 inch diameter Nabucco Pipeline will link the eastern border of Turkey to Baumgarten in Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, transporting 31 Bcm/a of gas at a 100 bar operating pressure. Potential gas sources identified include Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkmenistan and Egypt.

The Nabucco route

The 2,581 km Turkish partof the Nabucco Pipeline starts in Ahiboz, south of Ankara, and will continue westwards to the Bulgarian border, across the Central Anatolian Plain and the Marmara Sea, and through the towns of Inegol, Yuluce, Kirklareli and Kofcas. The terrain is variable, mainly low-level plains and gentle elevations on the eastern side of the Marmara Sea with higher elevations before the border into Bulgaria.

he 412 km Bulgarian element of the route stretches up towards the existing compressor station at Lozenets, before crossing the Stara Planina mountain range to the north of the country. It follows a section of the existing East-West Pipeline before crossing into Romania under the Danube. The landscape is more contrasted in Bulgaria and the pipeline will cross active fault lines.The 469 km Romanian section follows the southwestern border of the country, travelling through the counties of Dolj, Mehedinti, Caras-Severin, Timis and Arad. The terrain is rockier in Romania and mainly constituted of limestone.

The proposed 384 km route in Hungary includes several river crossings, with substantial flood protection barriers. The region is characterised by low-lying, gently rolling terrain with vast arable and sunflower crops.The final 47 km of the route is located in Austria. This section of the pipeline follows existing pipeline corridors along the eastern border, across the Danube, towards Baumgarten.

Construction Plans

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, and first gas is expected in 2017. Nabucco will require 250,000 pipes and over 2 MMt of steel, along with several pieces of specialist equipment. The project will also directly create 7,000 new jobs and many more via the multiplier effect. In these ways, Nabucco is expected to help boost both the European economy and labour market.

NIC has submitted an offer to Shah Deniz II and is now waiting for the final Azeri decision on the preferred project.

When operating at full capacity, Nabucco will transport 1,550 Bcm to Europe over the next 50 years which, according to NIC, means that an economy the size of Germany could be supplied solely with Nabucco gas for over 16 years.

Source: Pipelines International

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