Minister: AGRI may be implemented after 2017

Oil&Gas Materials 29 February 2012 18:35 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 29 / Trend E. Ismayilov /

It is not worth waiting to start supplying Azerbaijan's liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe before the LNG transportation is launched, Azerbaijani Minister of Industry and Energy Natig Aliyev said at a meeting with members of the Caspian-European Integration Business Club (CEIBC) today.

"The AGRI project, envisaging Azerbaijani LNG supplies through Georgia's Black Sea coast to Romania, is still an idea," he said. "It will be possible to speak about its feasibility after a feasibility study has been prepared."

At present, the issue of choosing a route for Azerbaijan's LNG supply to Europe is urgent. This will be more relevant over the next years, Aliyev said.

Today, the partners developing Azerbaijan's gas condensate field "Shah Deniz" explored the routes of delivering 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe. The supplies are planned to be transported after 2017.

Aliyev said that AGRI project may be presented at the meeting of the EU Energy Commission in March upon Romania's proposal.

"The Ukrainian side shows great interest to the AGRI and Azerbaijani LNG supplies," he said. "Ukraine intends to build a terminal in Odessa for natural gas liquefaction, and the tender procedure is currently underway to choose the company, which will prepare a feasibility study for AGRI."

The participants in the AGRI project are the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation, as well as the MVM Company (Hungary) and Romgaz (Romania).

Chairman of AGRI Board of Directors is SOCAR's Deputy Vice-President on Investment and Marketing, Vitaly Beylarbeyov.

The capacity of the AGRI Project is considered in three variants - 2 billion cubic meters of gas per year, 5 billion cubic meters and 8 billion cubic meters. According to preliminary data, depending on the project capacity, its costs will vary from 1.2 billion to 4.5 billion euros.

The AGRI project envisages transporting Azerbaijani gas via pipelines to the Black Sea coast of Georgia, where the gas will be liquefied at a special terminal. The gas will then be delivered to a terminal at the Romanian port of Constanta via tankers.