Istanbul, Turkey, Dec.7
By Abbas Akhundov - Trend:
State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) is working out a worksheet for creation of a gas infrastructure in Albania, a senior source at SOCAR told Trend.
This issue was discussed with Albania at various levels, both with the previous and the current government, the senior source said.
At the meetings with Albania's leadership it was repeatedly stated that the construction of a gas transportation infrastructure in this country is priority for Azerbaijan and SOCAR, the source said.
Azerbaijan well understands that the implementation of the pipeline project through the country's territory can not be successful if this country hasn't got its own gas infrastructure and doesn't consume gas, according to the source.
"In order to get the permission of that country and meet its interests, someone must create such infrastructure. We are not the only ones who are interested in creation of a gas infrastructure," the SOCAR representative said.
There are a number of companies which also show interest in the process of creation of a gas distribution system in Albania, the representative said.
"The idea is that Albania is located closer to the gas production in Azerbaijan than say, Italy. Therefore, the gas producers in Azerbaijan are interested in selling some amount of gas to the country to which the gas transportation is cheaper rather than to distant markets," the source said.
There has been reached an agreement with the Albanian leadership on preparation of a worksheet by the relevant structures of SOCAR for creation of a gas infrastructure in Albania, according to the source.
"As soon as we have "homework", we will go to Albania in order to create a working group that will be engaged in implementation of theoretical plans only for the present. After all final decisions on Shah Deniz are adopted, we will begin the direct work on the concrete implementation of these plans," the source said.
A consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development announced its choice of the TAP project in late June, as a gas transportation route to the European markets. The gas which will be produced in the second phase of Shah Deniz field, is considered as the main source of the project.
The initial capacity of the TAP pipeline will be 10 billion cubic meters per year with the possibility of expanding to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
Shah Deniz reserves 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 percent, Statoil - 25.5 percent, NICO - 10 percent, Total - 10 percent, Lukoil - 10 percent, TPAO - nine percent and SOCAR - 10 percent.