SOCAR clarifies partners` interest issue in TANAP

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 17

By Emin Aliyev, Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

Turkey's Botas state pipeline company may increase its share up to 30 percent, in the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline project (TANAP) SOCAR (The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic) Vice President for Economic Affairs Suleyman Gasimov told trend on March 17.

SOCAR always noted that it intends to retain at least 51 of the 80 per cent share in the TANAP project In turn, the British BP, which operates the development project of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz offshore gas condensate field, decided to buy 12 per cent share in the project.

Plans are to sell the remainder to Statoil and Total companies, which also had equity participation in the Shah Deniz project and the South Caucasus gas pipeline. However , Statoil recently sold its shares in the project. Furthermore, information was spread in the media recently about Total`s desire to withdraw from the Shah Deniz project.

"Information on the sale of Total`s share of the Shah Deniz project has no official confirmation, but if this happens, the Turkish company intends to acquire an additional 10 per cent share in TANAP, and thus bring it to 30 per cent," Gasimov said. "But, this issue is at the level of unrealized ideas yet."

The TANAP project envisages transporting gas from the Shah Deniz field through Turkey up to the country's border with Europe. The initial capacity of the pipeline is expected to be 16 billion cubic meters per year. About six billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to Turkey and the rest to Europe. In the future, the pipeline's capacity can be expanded to 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Currently the share distribution in the TANAP project is conducted as follows: Turkey (20 percent) and Azerbaijan (80 percent). Following the completion of the process on acquiring a stake in the TANAP project by British company BP, the shares in the project will be distributed as follows: SOCAR (operator) - 68 percent , Botas (Turkish state pipeline company) - 20 percent and BP - 12 percent.

TANAP shareholders plan to lay the pipeline's foundation in the second quarter of 2014 and to commission it in 2018. TANAP project's cost is estimated at $10 billion to $11 billion.

On December 17, 2013 a final investment decision was made on the second phase of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field's development. The gas from the field will first go to the European market. The gas to be produced within the second phase of the field's development will be exported to Turkey (six billion cubic meters per year) and to the European markets (10 billion cubic meters per year) by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

Shah Deniz reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.

Partners for the development of the Shah Deniz field are: SOCAR with the share of 16.7 percent, British BP (28.8 percent), Norway's Statoil (15.5 percent), Iran's NICO (10 percent), French Total (10 percent), Russia's Lukoil (10 percent) and Turkish TPAO (9 percent).

Translated by S.I.
Edited by C.N.

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