Friday 26 October 2007

Interview with Ferran Tarradellas, Spokesperson of Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs



Shots of pipelines transporting oil and natural gas (5 shots)


EU Commission Press Room (4 shots)


Interview Feran Tarradellas, spokesperson of Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Energy

The priority number 1 is to reduce the consumption of energy. The less energy we spent, the less we are going to be dependent on the energy we are importing. Priority 2 is to promote the energy we can produce in Europeand that means particularly the renewable sources of energy. We try to rely on them as much as possible in EU in order to reduce the import from abroad. The third issue is to diversify our sources of supplies and origins of supply. That means for instance developing energy terminals that allow us to import gas by ship or to have other sources of hydrocarbons, like bio fuels coming from Brazil, for instance. It means also trying to develop new transit routes like Nabuko pipeline, or new pipelines with Algeriaand Norway. The fourth element is to increase dialog with our traditional suppliers. That’s why we have regular contacts with Russiawho is our main supplier but also with Norway, Algeria, with OPEC countries and transit countries like Ukraineand energy consumers like China, Indiaand USA, in order to try to reduce all together our energy consumption.


Russia has been our reliable supplier for more than 30 years. During the Cold War for instance, even if there were missiles pointing at each other, gas supplies from Russiacontinued to come. We consider that despite the punctual problems that we had with Russiaespecially in 2005 could be considers as reliable supplier. The only thing is that it is important for us and for Russiato have all the communication channels open. In case of any problem like that we can take the necessary steps on time. This is what we are trying to do now with the dialogue that has started in 2005 and no has been enlarged with an early warning system that will make communication flows between EU and Russia in case of energy crisis of any kind.


Nabuko is a key priority for the EU. It’s a project that is going to bring gas trough a different route from a different source, out of our traditional suppliers. It is the Caspian basin and Central Asia and even other sources such as North Africa through another pipeline that is going to be built through Syriaand Turkey. Nabuko is very complex project, it goes through 5 or 6 countries, if you count Turkeyas well and this is why the Commission has nominated a coordinator. I don’t know if it was Napoleon who said that if you want to push something forward, you should nominate a person, not a committee. We have a very good person, former Dutch Foreign Minister who is very active already trying to develop this project.

04:08 Pipelines and storage of gas (2 shots)


We think that there is no reason for concern. We are importing a lot of gas from Russiaand we will continue to import. We don’t see why this should be a source of concern for Russia. We try to diversify our suppliers in the same way that they are trying to diversify their customers. We consider that is perfectly normal that they try to sell their gas to Chinaor Japanon the other end of the country but at the same time they have an excellent market in the EU that they are supplying quite well. We are very happy to buy gas from Russia; its luck for EU that country with largest reserve of gas is at our doorstep. We have friendly relations with them and I don’t see why we should not continue working together; but at the same time, to ensure our security of supply it’s logical that we are looking for diversification as well. Making Nabuko will be only for 30 million cubic meters, we are importing more than 100 from Russia.

anyone that wants to build a pipeline that can increase gas supplies to the EU is welcome. We are interested in any project; the Commission has given support to joint venture between Germany and Gazprom to build a gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. If there are investors to this pipeline we are going to look at it with a lot of interest.