During his inaugural speech Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev set the priorities in the energy sector for the next five years, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) head Rovnag Abdullayev told media today.
"A basic and strategic task is the realization of the projects within ensuring the export of Azerbaijani gas to Europe," Abdullayev said.
"In particular, it covers the second stage of developing Azerbaijani gas condensate field Shah Deniz , expanding the South Caucasus gas pipeline, constructing the Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines," Abdullayev said.
In late June, the consortium for the development of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field chose Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as a route for transporting its gas to the European markets.
The gas to be produced within the second phase of this field development will be the main source for TAP.
The final investment decision on "Shah Deniz 2" project is planned to be made in late 2013.
The first gas supplies to Turkey within this project will begin in 2018 and to Europe - in 2019.
The TAP project is designed to transport gas from Caspian region through Greece, Albania and Adriatic Sea to the south of Italy, and then to the Western Europe.
The initial capacity of TAP will amount to 10 billion cubic metres per annum with the possibility of expanding to 20 billion cubic metres per annum.
The reserves of the Shah Deniz field are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.
The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field was signed in June 1996. The agreement's participants are: BP (operator) - 25.5 percent, Statoil - 25.5 percent, NICO - 10 percent, Total - 10 percent, Lukoil - 10 percent, TPAO - nine percent, SOCAR - 10 percent.