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By Kerry Skyring and Nicole Lundeen
VIENNA--German utility RWE AG (RWE.XE) will be leaving the consortium behind the proposed pipeline Nabucco West, Austrian oil and gas company OMV AG (OMV.VI) Chief Executive Officer Gerhard Roiss said Friday.
Consortium partner OMV appears to be the most likely to take over RWE's stake in Nabucco.
"We are in talks," Mr. Roiss told journalists at the Club of Economic Publishers when asked if OMV would be taking over RWE's stake in the pipeline.
Mr. Roiss said RWE's withdrawal had nothing to do with the chances of the pipeline's success. He added that should Nabucco not come into existence, he wasn't planning a second pipeline.
Mr. Roiss declined to confirm whether the Shah Deniz Consortium was looking to take a 50% share in the Nabucco Project. Mr. Roiss said he expects the gas-field consortium to make a decision on taking a stake in Nabucco sometime in the first half of next year.
Nabucco West is one of two proposed pipelines to bring gas from the Caspian Sea region to Europe, via Bulgaria, diversifying the continent's supply of gas. The consortium behind the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea region is expected to make a final decision between Nabucco and the proposed Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which would deliver the gas via Greece and Italy.
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