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BP, Total in Nabucco Talks

The partners in Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II gas field are in talks to take a stake in the Nabucco consortium, which is competing to build the first pipeline to deliver Azeri gas to Europe, Austria's economy and energy minister said Monday.

"There are very concrete talks," Reinhold Mitterlehner said during talks on the Nabucco West project between the energy ministers of the countries through which the pipeline is planned to run and the Nabucco consortium partners.

The Shah Deniz II consortium has already signed a funding deal with Nabucco's rival, the more southerly Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.

The delivery of Azeri gas to Europe, expected to start in 2018 no matter which pipeline is chosen, will loosen Russia's grip on European Union energy supplies.

The Shah Deniz II partners include BP, Azeri state firm SOCAR and Total.

(Reuters)

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