Baku, Azerbaijan, March 18
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
In the case of the suspension of Russian gas import to Turkey in connection with the situation in Ukraine, Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) can be an alternative and the most important project in the region, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz said on March 18, Turkish Anadolu agency reported.
The minister also stressed that the political crisis in Ukraine increases the significance of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline.
Currently, Turkey and Azerbaijan work on implementation of this project, according to Yildiz.
The TANAP project envisages gas transportation from the Shah Deniz field to Europe via Turkey. The pipeline's initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters per year. Around six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey and the rest to Europe. In 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 Turkey (20 percent) and Azerbaijan (80 percent). Following the completion of the process to acquire a stake in the TANAP project by British company BP, 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 cost is estimated at $10 billion to $11 billion.
On March 18 Russia and Crimea signed an agreement on Crimea, as well as Sevastopol city joining the Russian Federation.
The vast majority of residents of Crimea - 96 percent - voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum held March 16.
With the exception of Russia most countries refused to recognize the referendum and its results.
A change of power took place in Ukraine on Feb.22.
The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from the power, changed the constitution and scheduled presidential elections for May 25. Yanukovych said that he was forced to leave Ukraine under the threat of violence, and he remains the legally elected head of state. A number of provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as the Crimea did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rada and decided on possibility of holding a referendum on the future fate of the regions.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.