Iran plans to increase stake in Azerbaijan’s large gas project
Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 6
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Azerbaijan and Iran are discussing the possibility of increasing the Iranian company NIKO Oil's share in the development project of Shah Deniz-2 gas condensate field.
Iran's Minister of Communications & Information Technologies Mahmoud Vaezi stressed the Iranian side's interest to increase the equity in the project during a meeting with president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev in Baku.
The variant of purchasing a share of a participant in the project is being considered.
Currently, share distribution among the participants of the agreement (after SOCAR and BP bought some Statoil share in the project) is as follows: BP (operator) - 28.8 percent, Statoil - 15.5 percent, NICO - 10 percent, Total - 10 percent, Lukoil - 10 percent, TPAO - 9 percent, SOCAR - 16.7 percent. Previously, Total sold its stake in the project to the Turkish TPAO.
After the transaction is over, the share of the latter in the project will be 19 percent.
The gas to be produced within the second phase of the field's development will be exported to Turkey and to European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
As part of "Shah Deniz" project implementation, an annual gas production volume will increase from nine billion cubic meters as part of the first phase by additional 16 billion cubic meters in the second phase.
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.
The Iranian minister also expressed his country's willingness to buy Azerbaijani gas.
"We are ready to buy gas from Azerbaijan to meet the fuel needs of the northern region of Iran (areas bordering with Azerbaijan)," Vaezi said. "Moreover, we are interested in keeping the Iranian gas in Azerbaijani gas storage facilities during the summer."
Azerbaijan has two underground gas storage facilities - Kalmaz and Garadagh. Both gas storage facilities are on SOCAR balance.
It is possible to store more than 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas in the country's underground gas storage facilities.