Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.30 / Trend, A. Badalova /
The Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline project (TANAP) will become a reliable source in ensuring Europe's energy security, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview with some Azerbaijani and foreign media outlets.
"We can say with confidence that TANAP will be of great importance as a reliable source in ensuring Europe's energy security in the future," Mammadyarov said.
He said that the agreement signed between Azerbaijan and Turkey to implement TANAP indicates availability of a vast potential for close cooperation between the countries.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on the implementation of TANAP was signed by Azerbaijan and Turkey on June 26. TANAP project envisages gas transportation from "Shah Deniz" field to Europe through Turkey.
The initial capacity of the pipeline is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters a year. About six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey, and the rest - to Europe.
At present, a 20-percent share in TANAP belongs to Turkish BOTAS, while 80-percent to the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). SOCAR intends to retain 51 percent of the equity in the project. Turkey will keep 20 percent of the equity.
As Mammadyarov said, the energy sector is certainly one of the main areas of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey.
"Magnificent success of projects jointly implemented by our countries, such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline proved themselves at the global level and led to the emergence of new players on the world energy map," Mammadyarov said.
"However, we did not limit ourselves to it, and reached an agreement on the construction of a new pipeline - TANAP," he said.
According to Mammadyarov, given Azerbaijan's proven gas reserves at 2.6 trillion cubic meters, energy security and national interests of the two countries is ensured for a long time.
The implementation of all mentioned projects, forming the East-West energy corridor, according to Mammadyarov, is a successful strategic move towards ensuring regional security, strengthening of peace and economic development.
However, as Mammadyarov said, the cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan in the energy sector is not limited to the TANAP project.
"Last year the laying of the foundation stone of Petkim company's new "Star" oil refinery was held with participation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Izmir. Total investments in the Petkim and TANAP projects are estimated at $15-$20 billion," Mammadyarov said.
"At present, Azerbaijan actively invests in the Turkish economy. Thus, bilateral agreements signed between the two countries, investments made, as well as the steps taken for the development of cooperation, contributed to bringing our relations to the highest level," Mammadyarov underlined.
As for the further fate of the Nabucco West and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Mammadyarov said that now assessment of the capabilities of each of these projects is underway, and partners on the development of the "Shah Deniz" field will make a final decision next year.
Nabucco-West envisages the construction of 1,300 km of pipeline (Bulgaria: 412 km, Romania 469 km, Hungary 384 km, Austria 47 km). It will be laid from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to the Austrian Baumgarten.
At present, Nabucco project shareholders are Austrian OMV, Hungarian FGSZ, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into Western Europe.
The initial pipeline capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year. TAP's shareholders are EGL of Switzerland (42.5 percent), Norway's Statoil (42.5 percent) and E. ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15 percent).