Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 18 /Trend A.Badalova/
Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development is a long-term project with an important role for the European market and a positive impact in terms of energy security, BP's Vice President for Shah Deniz Full Field Development Alasdair Cook told in interview to Natural Gas Europe.
"Shah Deniz 2 is the biggest gas discovery BP has ever made and I am certain that production from such a giant reservoir will continue for decades from now," Cook said. "Moreover, the Shah Deniz Deep discovery, which was made a few years ago, will provide us with further quantities of natural gas."
The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed June 4, 1996. Participants to the agreement are: BP (operator) - 25.5 percent, Statoil - 25.5 percent, NICO - 10 percent, Total - 10 percent, LukAgip - 10 percent, TPAO - 9 percent, SOCAR-10 percent.
The field's reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters during the first stage. Additional 16 billion cubic meters is planned to be produced within the second phase of the field development.
According to Cook, 2012 will be for Shah Deniz 2 project the year when the agreements will turn into reality.
"We will turn from sheets of paper to sheets of steel. We will proceed with awarding up to 3 billion dollars' worth of contracts later on this year. We will also select a pipeline route for the Southern Corridor," he said.
Cook stressed that the key success of 2011 was the agreement between Shah Deniz and Turkey in October to open the Southern Gas Corridor.
According to Cook, the second phase of Shah Deniz field development is very important project for European energy security.
"Firstly, it is the first time that Caspian natural gas will find its way into Europe, thus allowing diversification of European energy imports, and improving energy security, he said. Second, it is important to note that by opening up a route for Shah Deniz gas to the European market, we can also open up the region. This includes putting in place the political, legal and engineering infrastructure to allow gas to flow."
Gas, which will be produced during the second phase of Shah Deniz field development, is considered as the main source for the projects within the Southern gas Corridor.
On Oct. 1, Nabucco, TAP and ITGI projects submitted their final proposals to the Azerbaijani side, which will review them in accordance with the previously announced criteria. The decision on the preferable transportation route is expected to be made in the first quarter of 2012.
"A pipeline selection will be made in the coming months as to which pipeline routes will be awarded the go ahead for the Southern Corridor," Cook said.
He added that the regions of Central or South Europe could be the main export markets.