TANAP tests Nabucco’s plans to create direct 'gas highway' to Europe
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 1 /Trend, A.Badalova/
The Azerbaijani-Turkish gas pipeline (TANAP) seriously tests the idea of Nabucco project to create one direct link from the Caspian basin to the European market, editor-in-chief at Eurasia Energy Observer Andrej Tibold believes.
"The idea of the Nabucco consortium to create one direct 'gas highway' to Baumgarten is seriously being tested by TANAP," Tibold told Trend.
TANAP is a proposed Azerbaijan-Turkish project which envisages a construction of pipeline from the eastern border of Turkey to the country's western border. Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the consortium that will build a gas pipeline. The cost of TANAP will be set by SOCAR and may be close to the figure of $5 billion. The initial capacity of TANAP will amount to 16 billion cubic meters per year.
Nabucco gas pipeline, which is one of the projects within the Southern Gas Corridor, is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to Europe. Accordin7g to the overall conception of Nabucco project, the pipeline will be laid from the Georgian-Turkish and Iraqi-Turkish borders to the Austrian Baumgarten. It will run through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria over a distance of 3900 kilometres.
Gas which will be produced during the second stage of Shah Deniz field development is considered as the main source for Nabucco project.
"One gets the impression that TANAP is slowly turning into a competitor of Nabucco, in terms of volumes. In particular, if one keeps in mind plans to potentially expand TANAP's capacity from 16 to 24 billion cubic metres per year, possibly, even more, provided supplies and demand are in place," Tibold said.
However, he believes that still gas infrastructure will be needed to receive the gas from TANAP in Europe.
Earlier this week Turkish Energy Ministry spokesman told dpa that Turkey is no longer fully supporting the European Union-backed Nabucco pipeline project, and is instead prioritizing its own rival TANAP project. He also added that the country remains the participant in Nabucco project consortium.
Nabucco project's partners include the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and the German RWE.