12 May 2012
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 11 / Trend A.Badalova /
Azerbaijan-Turkish Trans Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) could be a "viable alternative" to the European-backed Nabucco project, Bloomberg reported with the reference to President of Statoil Azerbaijan Lars Sorensen.
Norwegian Statoil is one of the partners in consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas field development, which has a 25.5-percent stake in it. The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed on June 4, 1996. Other participants of the agreement are: BP (operator) - 25.5 per cent, NICO - 10 per cent, Total - 10 per cent, LukAgip - 10 per cent, TPAO - nine per cent and SOCAR-10 percent.
Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a consortium that will build a gas pipeline to supply gas from the Shah Deniz field to Europe through the Turkish territory. At present, BOTAS has a 20 percent stake in TANAP, and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) - 80-percent share.
The initial capacity of the pipeline is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters per year. About six billion cubic meters of the volume will be allocated to Turkey, while the rest will be transported to Europe. At present, Azerbaijan chooses the route for gas exports to Europe via Turkey. Azerbaijan currently exports gas to Turkey via the South Caucasus gas pipeline.
According to Sorensen, the start of Shah Deniz 2 project will necessitate the expansion of the South Caucasus pipeline to 25 billion cubic meters in annual capacity from 9 billion cubic meters. He said that the capacity can be increased to more than 60 billion cubic meters a year if more gas becomes available from Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan.
A final investment decision on Shah Deniz 2 project, according to Sorensen, is expected in mid-2013 after selecting a pipeline route to Europe.
The final decision on a pipeline route to export Azerbaijani gas to the European markets is expected in 2013.