The first gas will be obtained in 2018 within the second stage of developing Azerbaijani gas condensate field "Shah Deniz" in accordance with the schedule, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev told media today.
He said that all the issues on the second stage of field development have been agreed and the operations are conducted in accordance with the schedule. A final investment decision is expected to be made in late 2013.
Abdullayev also stressed that a contract on "Shah Deniz" field development was prolonged for five years - until 2036.
Regarding the issue of choosing the route of gas supply from "Shah Deniz" field to Europe, Abdullayev said that SOCAR specialists, as well as partners developing the field are holding the talks over gas pipeline projects and with potential gas buyers.
Abdullayev excluded the probability of gas transportation to Europe through two gas pipelines as there are 10 billion cubic meters of gas for export to Europe within Shah Deniz second stage.
The decisions were made to expand the South Caucasus gas pipeline as part of ensuring Azerbaijani gas exports to Europe. Along with the gas from "Shah Deniz" field, this will later allow Azerbaijan to ensure gas export from the Absheron field, Babak prospective structure and other structures.
The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed on June 4, 1996. The participants of the agreement are: BP (operator) - 25.5 percent, Statoil - 25.5 percent, NICO - 10 percent, Total - 10 percent, Lukoil - 10 percent, TPAO - 9 percent and SOCAR-10 percent.
Reserves of Shah Deniz field are estimated to be 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.
Azerbaijan plans to export 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe within the second stage of the project.
Gas which will be extracted within the second stage of the field development will be exported to Turkey (6 billion cubic meters) and Europe (10 billion cubic meters).
Currently, the consortium developing Shah Deniz is considering two variants for its gas transportation to Europe - TAP and Nabucco West.