Just like the protagonist in the eponymous opera, the Nabucco pipeline, the one-time leading option for carrying natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, has been outmaneuvered and knocked from its preeminent perch.
In the opera, Nabucco is a king of Babylon who is outwitted by a group of palace conspirators and temporarily loses his throne. After undergoing a spiritual conversion, he thwarts his enemies and regains his crown. But the happy opera ending is one thing. In the Caspian energy-export game, it is far from certain whether the pipeline formally known as Nabucco-West will be able to make a comeback. That’s because the simple pursuit of profits, not diplomatic scheming appears to have been the primary reason Nabucco-West lost out among the multiple bids to export gas from Azerbaijan’s largest natural-gas field, Shah Deniz.
To read the full story
Shahin Abbasov is a freelance correspondent based in Baku.