The Turkish oil minister, Dr Mehmet Hilmi Guler, in a letter to his Indian counterpart, Mani Shankar Aiyar, wrote, "During our discussions in Istanbul we agreed that oil and gas will be the most important sectors of mutual cooperation.
In this regard, BOTAS (Turkish energy company) informed me about GAIL's interest to the Nabucco project. Pipelines are essential components of securing oil and gas supply, and in this respect, we support this proposal."
An expression of interest (EOI) to participate as a strategic equity sponsor in the Nabucco project has already been submitted by GAIL. A presentation was also made recently by GAIL and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) to BNP Paribas, the financial advisors to the project. The Nabucco project company is formed by a consortium comprising of national gas companies from Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria.
The chairman and managing director, GAIL, Proshanto Banerjee has also said in his letter to Mr Aiyar that the Romanian minister of economy and commerce, Ioan Codrust Seres, during his recent visit to India had supported GAIL's involvement in the project.
Mr Banerjee's letter reads, "The Romanian minister had stated, during his recent visit to India, that if he receives the communication from the Indian side to consider GAIL's participation in the Nabucco project, he would certainly consider the same."
In addition to this gas project, the Turkish oil minister has also invited Indian public and private companies as participants and investors to the Cehyan energy centre concept.
In relation to Turkey's energy bridge position and serving as a conduit for oil and gas in the East-West energy corridor, Ceyhan (the Turkish port) has become an extremely strategic location.