Nabucco’s original conception to be lost with TANAP construction

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 1 /Trend, A.Badalova/

The original conception of Nabucco gas pipeline project, which is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to the European countries, will be lost with the construction of Azerbaijan-Turkish Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), political risk analyst at Menas Associates in London, focusing on Caspian energy and political issues Alexander Jackson said.

"TANAP is maybe the final blow to Nabucco as originally planned," Jackson told Trend via e-mail.

Azerbaijan and Turkey proposed a construction of a pipeline from the eastern border of Turkey to the country's western border. The sides signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the consortium that will build a gas pipeline with the initial capacity at 16 billion cubic metres. The cost of TANAP will be set by SOCAR and may be close to the figure of $5 billion.

The parties involved in the project intend to resolve issues on this gas pipeline this year and plans to commence construction immediately will see completion by late 2017. The second stage of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development will be launched during that period.

Some people consider TANAP as the rival to Nabucco pipeline, which 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 3,900 kilometres.

Jackson said that TANAP will remove the rationale for a major gas export pipeline between Turkey's eastern and western borders, because at the moment there is neither demand nor supply for both Nabucco, with the capacity at 31 billion cubic meters, and TANAP, which will be at least 16 billion cubic metres.

"This could mean that Nabucco will just be built from Turkey's western borders to central or southern Europe," Jackson said.

However, he said that this would not be Nabucco as the project was originally understood.

"If Nabucco just runs through south-eastern Europe, then it is not really Nabucco at all anymore," Jackson said.

Jackson is almost confident that TANAP will be built, taking into account the fact that the project depends only on Turkish State Pipeline Company (BOTAS) and State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), not on private companies or the EU.

Comparing TANAP and Nabucco project, Jackson said that the latter is much less likely to be built. He believes that there is not enough commercial or political justification for both pipelines.

Jackson also said that the South-East Europe Pipeline (SEEP), proposed by BP, is more likely to be chosen for the rest of the route (from Turkish western border to Europe).

This is a lot cheaper and easier than Nabucco, Jackson said.

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