New gas pipeline in Turkey can rival Nabucco in short term
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 3 /Trend A.Badalova/
A gas pipeline, which Ankara and Baku agreed to build in Turkey in late October, might be a rival to Nabucco project in the short term perspective, editor-in-chief at Eurasia Energy Observer Andrej Tibold believes.
"This pipeline can be Nabucco's rival in the short term, but the Nabucco pipeline will be needed in the long term, because the European Commission plans to eventually import 90 bcm per year through the Southern Corridor," Tibold wrote Trend in an e-mail.
Baku and Ankara want to construct the new gas pipeline to ensure gas supplies from the eastern borders of Turkey to the west - to borders of Turkey with Bulgaria, or Greece.
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) senior representative said recently it is a concept that will be studied and explored in the future. The minimum throughput capacity of this gas pipeline will be at least 16 billion cubic meters.
According to SOCAR representative, the possible construction of the new gas pipeline in Turkey does not exclude the implementation of Nabucco gas pipeline project, if it provides more favorable conditions.
Nabucco gas pipeline is a priority project within EU's concept of the Southern gas Corridor, which is designed to transport gas from the Caspian Sea and Middle East to European countries.
The gas produced within the second phase of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz Field is considered to be the main gas source for the Southern Corridor projects.
In 2010 the European Commission set as a strategic objective the capacity of the Southern Corridor to supply roughly 10-20 percent of the EU's gas demand by 2020, equivalent roughly to 45-90 bcm per year.
According to the European Commission, the Southern Gas Corridor can provide a direct link between estimated 90.6 trillion cubic meters reserves of the Caspian and Middle East basin and the EU gas market.
"These plans, indeed, necessitate an additional transit capacity in Turkey," Andrej believes. "Now the question is in what order the pipelines will be built."
Tibold noted that Turkish-Azerbaijani energy cooperation has reached a new level. He said that the plans to construct a new pipeline in Turkey, and the recent ceremony to lay the foundation of SOCAR's new refinery in Izmir (Turkey) are evidences for this development.
"It seems that Turkey and Azerbaijan have joined efforts to pursue major projects of common interest," Tibold said.