SOCAR announces plans to acquire a stake in Greek DESFA

Oil&Gas Materials 1 July 2013 14:11 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 1 / Trend E. Ismailov /

Following the selection of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project by the shareholders of the project for the development of Azerbaijani gas condensate field Shah Deniz, the importance of SOCAR's (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) involvement in the privatisation of Greek DESFA has increased even more, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said on Monday in an interview to the state TV channel AzTV.

DESFA is the operator of the Greek national gas transmission system responsible for its development and operation.

"Participation in the privatisation of DESFA is a commercial project. Acquisition of participation in DESFA opens up great opportunities for SOCAR. Specifically, the Greek company has the LNG-terminal which will supply liquefied natural gas to Greece and then ensure the supply of gas to the Balkan countries," he said.

Acquisition of equity interest in DESFA will allow SOCAR to participate in various investment projects in the Balkan countries and, in particular, to participate in the process of gasification of Albania, which is currently at a very low level.

DESFA is a division of the state gas company DEPA, whose privatisation failed in June due to the lack of formal bids including from Russian Gazprom, which has been considered the most likely buyer of DEPA.

Touching on the issue of acquisition of equity participation in DESFA by SOCAR, Abdullayev said the work is currently underway on preparation of a purchase contract with regards to the assets of the Greek company, adding that the process will complete in several months.

Last Friday, the shareholders of the project for the development of Azerbaijani gas condensate field Shah Deniz announced the selection of the TAP project as a route for transporting its gas to European markets.

The TAP project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and then into Western Europe.