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OMV CEO:Shah Deniz Needs to Decide on Central or Southern Europe

Shah Deniz, the BP PLC (BP)-led consortium developing a natural-gas field offshore Azerbaijan, needs to decide on whether to market gas in southern or central Europe, Gerhard Roiss, chief executive of Austrian oil firm OMV AG (OMV.IV), a major shareholder in the Nabucco West pipeline proposal, said Monday.

Speaking at the OMV refinery near Vienna Roiss said "this is their decision, where they think there are more liquid markets for such a volume of gas." The consortium has "to decide whether it wants to sell 10 billion cubic meters in Italy or Greece, or whether to go to central European markets," he added.

Last week, Shah Deniz said it selected the Nabucco West pipeline concept as one of the two final options to be considered when the consortium decides on a route to pipe Caspian gas to Europe next year. Shah Deniz is to decide either later this year or in 2013.

Referring to signs that other shareholders in the Nabucco project were losing patience, Mr Roiss told Dow Jones "there is a firm bid signed by all shareholders--it's not rumors or whatever, everybody has signed it and therefore it is a binding offer."

Other Nabucco shareholders include German utility RWE AG (RWE.XE) and Hungary's MOL Nyrt (BU).


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