Minister: TANAP will become important step toward Southern Gas Corridor

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

Trans Anadolu gas pipeline (TANAP) may become an important step toward creating Southern Gas Corridor, Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev said at a meeting with members of the Caspian-European Integration Business Club (CEIBC) on Wednesday.

He said the emergence of TANAP idea led to the emergence of new ideas on Azerbaijani gas supplies. As an example, the minister called Nabucco-West.

Nabucco-West is a shortened version of the Nabucco and involves the construction of the pipeline not from the Georgian-Turkish border, as in the classic version, but from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Baumgarten.

Aliyev said the feasibility study of TANAP, which will be ready by mid-year, will determine the basic parameters of the project, in particular technical characteristics, capacity, point of beginning and end of the pipeline, the volume of investment.

Regarding the issue of choosing a route of supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, the minister said that it should be a meaningful and common decision.

Aliyev said companies and parties try to present their project in the best light and, therefore, the Azerbaijani side and its foreign partners to develop Shah Deniz gas field should carefully examine all the options and choose the most suitable for the country project.

On Oct. 1, Nabucco, TAP and ITGI (Southern Gas Corridor projects) submitted their final proposals to the Shah Deniz consortium.

However in late February, the Consortium said it does not consider ITGI (Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy) as the right project to deliver Azerbaijani gas to the European markets. According to the Consortium's decision, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a priority route for the export of Azerbaijani gas to Italy. The Consortium will continue its negotiations with TAP, along with the other concerned projects to the Central Europe.

By June 30, 2012 which is the day an intergovernmental agreement is to be signed between Turkey and Azerbaijan, the drafting process of TANAP should be completed. Simultaneously, by the same deadline the choice between SEEP and Nabucco should also be completed.

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

Azerbaijan plans to export 10 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe within the second stage of Shah Deniz field development.

The Shah Deniz consortium is currently considering three possible export routes, whereas in an earlier selection there were four and together with ITGI, Nabucco, South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP) and TAP projects are considered potential routes at present.

The reserves of Shah Deniz are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic metres of gas. Most of the gas, which will be produced during the second stage of the field's development, is planned to be delivered to Europe.

The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed on June 4, 1996. Participants to the agreement are: BP (operator) - 25.5 per cent, Statoil - 25.5 per cent, NICO - 10 per cent, Total - 10 per cent, LukAgip - 10 per cent, TPAO - nine per cent and SOCAR-10 per cent.

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