The Turkish Energy Minister has said that Turkey is close to clinching a deal to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

Earlier this month, Azerbaijan said that transit terms to Turkey were not satisfactory and that it was searching for alternative gas routes from its Shakh Deniz gas field when production commences on the next stage between 2013 and 2016.

The minister, Taner Yildiz, said that the two nations were negotiating on prices and that talks were at an advanced stage.

Failure to clinch the deal could pose difficulties for supplying the proposed US$11.83bn (€7.9bn) Nabucco pipeline, supported by the EU, which aims to decrease Europe’s dependence on gas imports from or via Russia, according to Reuters.

Yildiz told Reuters that the country supported a seventh partner in the Nabucco pipeline project and that France’s GDF Suez was a suitable candidate.

Nabucco’s stakeholders include Turkey’s Botas, Austria’s OMV, Germany’s RWE, Romania’s Transgaz, Hungary’s MOL and Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz.

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By GlobalData

Russia’s South Stream pipeline is viewed as a main contender to Nabucco. Russian energy company Gazprom has signed an agreement to import 500 million cubic metres of Azeri gas from 2010 but says it also plans to raise volumes.