EU considers long-term energy security

EU considers long-term energy security

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 18 / Trend E.Ismayilov /

Azerbaijani gas could be key in ensuring Europe's energy security, Gas Marketing Director for BP Azerbaijan Brian Hunter said at a roundtable event on Caspian energy and Europe today.

The event was organized by the Azerbaijani Presidential Center for Strategic Research and the Trans-Caspian Political Platform.

"I think that Azerbaijani gas will be a key to ensure European energy security," Hunter said.

He added that the project to develop Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz offshore gas field will play a major role in how this issue unfolds. Currently, work is underway to implement the project's first stage.

First production from Shah Deniz-2 is expected in late 2016-early 2017. The volume of gas to be obtained from Shah Deniz-2 is estimated at about 16 billion cubic meters.

The contract to develop Shah Deniz was signed in June 1996. Participants are: BP (operator) - 25.5 percent; Statoil - 25.5 percent; NICO - 10 percent; Total - 10 percent; LukAgip - 10 percent; TPAO - 9 percent; and, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) - 10 percent.

Gas is transported to Georgia and Turkey through the South Caucasus gas pipeline.

This year. the field will produce 7.84 billion cubic meters of gas. Peak production is forecast at over 8.6-9 billion cubic meters. Gas production may be brought up to 25 billion cubic meters per year under the second phase of development.

As previously mentioned, the partners in the Shah Deniz project are negotiating a contract under Shah Deniz-2 with potential European gas buyers. Gas supply contracts will be signed in 2011.

Financial decisions will be made later next year.

Speaking at the event, Romanian Foreign Ministry Special Envoy on Energy Security Affairs, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu said European energy security is being evaluated on a long-term basis, and in this regard the Caspian and Black Sea regions are given special importance.

The region has gas and infrastructure, as well as the political will and market conditions, to implement this strategy, she said.

Meanwhile, head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, Ambassador Roland Kobia noted the importance of the South Energy Corridor to the European market in terms of reducing its reliance on Russian gas. He paid particular attention to the Nabucco pipeline project.

According to Kobia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iraq will serve as the main sources of gas for Nabucco. In addition to gas from Shah Deniz-2, SOCAR's own gas and gas produced from the Absheron and Nakhchivan prospective structures are also being considered as potential sources.

Nabucco is worth 7.9 billion euro. Construction is planned to launch in 2011, with first supplies beginning in 2014. Its maximal capacity will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year.

Construction of the first section, with a length of 2.73 kilometers, will begin in Ankara, Turkey, and continue in the western direction toward the Bulgarian border through Central Anatolia and the Marmara Sea. Seventy-five percent of the route will pass through existing pipelines.

Nabucco participants are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE. Each has an equal 16.67-percent share. 

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