Azerbaijan Invited to Huge Gas Pipeline Project as Shareholder
Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend U.Ismayilova / A memorandum of understanding signed in Baku on 20 September between the Austrian Economy Ministry and the Azerbaijani Ministry of Industry and Energy is directed at deepening cooperation between the two countries in the Nabucoo gas pipeline project, Natig Aliyev, the Azerbaijani Minister for Industry and Energy, said on 20 September.
The OMV is the operator of the Nabucco project with 20% of the share. The NABUCCO gas pipeline, with a length of 4,000km will ensure gas delivery via the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas to Europe via the territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Austria. Operation of the gas pipeline will commence in 2011. The project is estimated at €5bln. NABUCCO is being developed by Botas ( Turkey), Bulgargaz ( Bulgaria) and Transgaz ( Romania).
"Presently, Azerbaijan is a real source [of gas supply] for Nabucco. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan has been invited to participate in the project as a shareholder," the Minister elaborated.
According to Aliyev, it is not so important for Azerbaijan to obtain a big share in the Nabucco project. "But it is important for us to participate somehow in the project. It will boost the image of the [State] Oil Company [of Azerbaijan]," he stressed.
Gas delivery to Europe is the number one issue for Azerbaijan.
"We are on the eve of the second phase [of field development] of Shah Deniz. Phase two is expected to become efficient by 2011," the Minister said.
Aliyev said that in the course of implementation of the second phase of the Shah Deniz gas field, development gas production will be increased to 21bln cu m a year. "So, we need markets and new gas pipelines. Obviously, Azerbaijan should not stand aside from such huge projects like Nabucco," the Minister added.
The commissioning of the Nabucco project with an estimated value of €5bln is scheduled for 2011.
The Minister did not exclude the possible increase of the cost of Nabucco at the first stage of its realization.