Iran wants to increase share in largest Azerbaijani gas project - minister (EXCLUSIVE)
Tehran, Iran, Aug. 20
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Iran intends to increase its stake in the largest Azerbaijani gas project Shah Deniz, Mahmoud Vaezi, minister of communications and information technology of Iran, co-chairman of the intergovernmental commission said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
He said that negotiations on this issue are already underway with the Azerbaijani side.
"The Iranian company NICO owns equity in the Shah Deniz project, and we have held talks to increase its stake in the project," said Vaezi.
NICO owns a 10 percent stake in the Shah Deniz project.
Earlier, Mehdi Mohtashami, the head of the secretariat of the Azerbaijan-Iran intergovernmental commission for cooperation in trade, economic and humanitarian spheres, told Trend in an interview that Iran also plans to acquire a stake in the TAP project, which assumes the delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
"Iran is examining various routes for supplying its gas to other countries, and TAP is one of those routes," he said. "We have already had preliminary talks with Azerbaijan and have done certain work in this regard."
As part of the implementation of the Shah Deniz project, the annual gas production volume will increase from 9 billion cubic meters (within the first phase) by additional 16 billion cubic meters in the second phase. Two offshore platforms will be installed and over 20 subsea wells will be drilled to produce additional volumes of gas within Shah Deniz-2 project.
As part of the second stage of the field's development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.
The volume of gas produced at Shah Deniz field stood at 5.2 billion cubic meters in the first half of 2015, while the volume of condensate production at this field totaled 1.2 million metric tons (9.8 million barrels), compared to 4.75 billion cubic meters of gas and 1.12 million metric tons of condensate in the same period of 2014.
The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field was signed on June 4, 1996. The field's reserve is estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.
The shareholders are: BP, operator (28.8 percent), AzSD (10 percent), SGC Upstream (6.7 percent), Petronas (15.5 percent), Lukoil (10 percent), NICO (10 percent) and TPAO (19 percent).
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz 2 field in Azerbaijan to Europe.
The approximately 870 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
The pipeline's construction is expected to start in 2016.
TAP's initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
TAP's shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
Edited by CN
Follow the author on Twitter: @JafarovTemkin