Azerbaijan, Baku, July 20 / Trend, A. Badalova /
The signing of an agreement yesterday by BP and the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry and the Egyptian Petroleum Corporation to develop hydrocarbon resources may increase Egypt's role as a European gas supplier and ensure gas for the Nabucco pipeline.
BP's major partner in Nabucco is the German company RWE, which earlier announced the signing of an agreement to develop gas in North Alexandria and the Mediterranean Sea. RWE has a 16.67-percent stake in the project.
About 143 billion cubic meters of gas and condensate will be produced during the first stage of developing five offshore Egyptian fields. Gas production will start in late 2014. Investments in field development are estimated at $9 billion.
Today, Egypt is considered a potential gas supplier for the Nabucco pipeline, which aims to transport gas from the Middle East and the Caspian region to the EU. Construction of the pipeline is scheduled for 2011 and first supplies are expected in 2014 when first gas production is planned from North Alexandria and the West Mediterranean Deep Water. The pipeline's maximum capacity will amount to 31 billion cubic meters per year.
Gas produced from the fields can be supplied to Nabucco with RWE's assistance.
RWE is one of the largest natural gas sales companies on the German market. The company is currently negotiating with potential Nabucco suppliers in Azerbaijan, northern Iraq, and Turkmenistan.
RWE's participation in gas development projects with potential future Nabucco suppliers demonstrates the company's immense interest in the project. Egyptian gas can be transported via Nabucco by connecting to the project to the Pan-Arab gas pipeline - whose project participants are Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
An agreement to construct the Pan-Arab pipeline between Arab countries was reached in 2000. The pipeline route envisages exporting Egyptian gas through Jordan, Syria and Turkey to Western Europe. The planned pipeline length is 324 kilometers.
Earlier Egyptian Petroleum Minister Amin Sameh Samir Fahmy said his country is considering the possibility of connecting the Pan-Arab gas pipeline to Nabucco to supply its own gas via the route.