Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 8 / Trend E. Ismayilov /
The capacity of the South Caucasus gas pipeline can be increased to 60 billion cubic meters a year in case of necessity, SOCAR's high ranking representative told Trend.
At present, Azerbaijan is in the process of choosing a route of gas supplies to the European market. The partners developing Azerbaijani gas condensate field "Shah Deniz" consider two possible projects of transporting Azerbaijani gas to Europe - Nabucco West and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
Around 6 billion cubic meters of gas will be exported to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe within the second stage of "Shah Deniz" development.
The source said that South Caucasus gas pipeline capacity will be increased by 16 billion cubic meters. At present, the real capacity of the pipeline is 8.8 billion cubic meters.
"Then it will be expanded by 16 billion cubic meters, and if necessary, up to 60 billion cubic meters," a source said. "The pipeline will be more expanded with each additional volume of gas."
The source said that the expansion of the capacity of the South Caucasus gas pipeline will be made by means of looping, which involves laying of parallel pipes connected with the main pipeline.
The work on expanding the pipeline for the gas within the second stage of "Shah Deniz" development will begin in the summer of 2013.
The reserves of Shah Deniz field are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.
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