Austria's OMV announced Tuesday that it has agreed to sell part of its stake in the Nabucco West pipeline project to French energy firm GDF Suez.
Nabucco is a new gas pipeline from Asia to Europe. The project aims to connect the world’s richest gas regions, the Caspian and the Middle East, to European consumer markets.
OMV said it has agreed to sell a stake amounting to approximately nine percent of the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International to GDF Suez. The firm said it expects the transaction to be closed during the second half of 2013.
OMV CEO Gerhard Roiss commented in a company statement:
"Having GDF SUEZ as new partner for Nabucco West is another milestone for the project. It proves that we are on the right way to provide Europe with more gas and to secure new sources of gas for the future."
In a separate statement, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International CEO Reinhard Mitschek commented:
"The pan-European significance of Nabucco is considerably reinforced with the agreement signed today. The entry of GDF Suez strengthens the shareholder structure of Nabucco significantly and paves the way to the French market. The industry expertise of GDF Suez as the operator of the largest gas transport network in Europe and their status as the second-largest buyer of natural gas in Europe are of immense advantage to the project. GDF Suez is already very active in the Nabucco countries."
Once the transaction is completed Nabucco will be owned by six partners: Bulgaria's BEH, Turkey's BOTAS, Hungary's FGSZ, GDF Suez, OMV and Romania's Transgaz.