SOCAR: Classic Nabucco is still significant

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 28 / Trend E. Ismayilov /

The consortium developing the Azerbaijani offshore gas condensate field "Shah Deniz" within the gas supplies to Europe does not write off the gas pipeline project "Nabucco" in its classical form, SOCAR senior official told Trend on Monday.

New proposals on the beginning of the "Nabucco" pipeline from the Turkish-Bulgarian border were presented with a view that the Turkish and Azerbaijani governments agreed regarding the construction of the Trans-Anatolia (TANAP) pipeline, which will transport Azerbaijani gas from the eastern to the western border of Turkey.

"But we - SOCAR and "Shah Deniz" consortium do not write off the "Nabucco" pipeline in its classic version, via Turkey, from the Georgian border to Baumgarten," SOCAR representative said. There are several variants. There is a variant from the Bulgarian border. But we also consider the main variant from the Georgian border, as TANAP, although good, but there is no idea and the concept of the project. Before TANAP turns from a concept into a project, there is a certain time. There is no guarantee that this project will be better than "Nabucco".

The representative said that "Nabucco" has its advantages. It is an integrated pipeline project from the Georgian border to the heart of Europe. TANAP is just the idea of laying the pipeline through Turkey. Therefore, it has advantages and disadvantages in both these concepts.
SOCAR senior representative has not excluded the possibility of building TANAP and choosing the trans-Adriatic projects and shortened "Nabucco" (Nabucco-West) from the Bulgarian border.

But he stressed that this may be possible if the consortium developing "Shah Deniz" receives the Turkish government's investment guarantees that exist for foreign companies, for example, in Azerbaijan.

"The foreign companies in Azerbaijan have stability of tax regime, the protection of foreign investments, the guarantees of the inviolability of foreign investments," he said
"For example, PSA contracts are the law, ratified by the Parliament of the country. Foreign investors, such as SOCAR, BP, Statoil, Total and other companies willing to participate in the pipeline project must have the same guarantees. But the guarantees are required. There are no guarantees. Nabucco-Classic is still on the agenda. It is being and considered."

Regarding the gas supplies to South-Eastern Europe (SEEP), SOCAR representative said that this project, as well as TANAP, is still a concept. There is no consortium within this framework that will create a SEEP. There are no particular investors, who would be willing to invest in a project to be developed on the basis of this concept.

Accordingly, there is the TANAP concept," he said. "There is the concept of developing or expanding Botas pipeline infrastructure. There is the concept of the shortened Nabucco (from the border with Bulgaria), but there are several projects - TAP and Nabucco."

SEEP, proposed by BP, involves gas supplies through existing or expanded Turkey's natural gas infrastructure to the countries of South-Eastern Europe. Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia are among them.

Therefore, choosing between the projects and concepts, "Shah Deniz" consortium considers all options.

He said that the preparation process for TANAP project must finish by June 30, the date of signing an intergovernmental agreement between Turkey and Azerbaijan. The choice between SEEP and "Nabucco" must be completed by this period.

The final decision on the choice between the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline project (TAP) and the project, which will be chosen between SEEP and "Nabucco", will be made on June 30, 2013, SOCAR representative said.

Azerbaijan plans to export 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe within the development of the second phase of the "Shah Deniz" field.

ITGI, along with other 'Southern Gas Corridor' projects, submitted final proposals to "Shah Deniz" consortium on Oct. 1, 2011.

However, the partners on "Shah Deniz" said that the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) is not considered as a project to deliver Azerbaijani gas to European markets.

According to the "Shah Deniz" consortium, a priority route for possible gas exports to Italy is the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP). The negotiations will continue, along with other considered projects in Central Europe.

The "Shah-Deniz" consortium is currently considering three possible export routes - the "Nabucco", direction "South-East Europe" (SEEP) and TAP.

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