Baku, Azerbaijan, May 28
The implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project to transport Caspian natural gas to Western Europe is progressing according to schedule, said the article published on the Natural Gas Europe website.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
Michael Hoffmann, External Affairs Director, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), said indeed the pipeline project is on schedule is moving into the execution phase, with the usual challenges related to procurement and land easement and acquisition.
For example, contracts have been issued, he says, to build and reinforce approximately 100km of roads, 52 bridges in Albania that are needed for the project.
"This pre works activity is needed to ensure that pipeline equipment can access the right of way in remote and difficult to access areas in Albania," he said.
Hoffmann said, TAP has reached out to approximately 350 local companies to see how they can potentially participate in the project.
Moreover, he said there are 45,000 landowners and land users, meaning TAP must deal with a huge number of agreements, not to mention following EBRD standards.
"Nevertheless, land acquisition and easement in Greece and Albania are progressing well,", he said.
"The main challenge now is to make sure that, when construction proper happens in 2016, that we have all of the land easement and land plots acquired, regulatory issues and permitting in place," Hoffmann said.
Via various interconnecting infrastructure, like the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), he added that hopefully one billion cubic meters per year of Shah Deniz II gas will be delivered to Bulgaria via the TAP pipeline; deliveries might also be made into the western Balkan nations like Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia.
Furthermore, Janet Jonas, head of Caspian Gas Marketing, BP, of the Southern Corridor said that it is one of the biggest and most complex energy projects being developed in the world, linking a source of gas production - the Caspian - with European gas markets, the largest markets for gas in the world
She added that this project has been launched on the basis of the Shah Deniz field, a large gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea of Azerbaijan which is already in operation, and serving customers in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.
Jonas said that all is going well and on schedule.
BP being the operator, has drilled seven production wells, which will underpin the first sales and deliveries from Shah Deniz 2, she said.
Jonas said that additional construction is underway at the Sangachal gas terminal, band and pipe are arriving for the first stages of construction, and work has begun on two new compressor stations in Georgia.
Meanwhile, Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Deputy Vice President at State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) said that everything is going ahead of schedule.
He added that gas from Shah Deniz will come onshore in time, but the pipelines must be coordinated. The timing must be perfect, he said, because there is not enough storage to accommodate the gas if it is not delivered.