"Diversification is a key objective of Europe's energy security strategy, and Azerbaijan is helping us to meet this objective," Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Greece, which presides over the EU Council in the first half of this year, said in an interview with Trend on Jan.21.
The minister said that Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 project will be a new source of natural gas for European markets, but at the same time, the TANAP/TAP projects constitute a new route - a southern corridor - and this strengthens European energy security even further.
Greek Foreign Minister went on to say that the TAP project will also have regional benefits, of course, beyond the cooperation between Greece, Albania and Italy.
"We are already discussing plans for a branch lines that will carry natural gas to countries in the Western Balkans -including Croatia, the newest member of the European family - thereby further strengthening regional cooperation as well as economic synergies in the Western Balkans," Venizelos said.
The Shah Deniz Stage 2 project will bring gas from the Caspian Sea to markets in Turkey and Europe, opening up the 'Southern Gas Corridor'. Shah Deniz Stage 2 is expected to add a further 16 billion cubic meters per year (BCMA) of gas production to the approximately 9 BCMA from Shah Deniz Stage 1.
This Stage 2 development of the Shah Deniz field, which lies some 70 kilometres offshore in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, is expected to include two new bridge-linked production platforms; 26 subsea wells to be drilled with 2 semi-submersible rigs; 500 kilometres of subsea pipelines built at up to 550 metres of water depth; a 16 bcma upgrade for the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP); and expansion of the Sangachal Terminal. The Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) will transport gas across Turkey and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline will transport gas from the Turkish-Greek border to Italy.
The Shah Deniz co-venturers are (after recent acquisitions): BP, operator (28.8 per cent), SOCAR (16.7 per cent), Statoil (15.5 per cent), Total (10 per cent), Lukoil (10 per cent), NICO (10 per cent) and TPAO (9 per cent). These percentages include the recent purchases of equity from Statoil by BP and SOCAR, respectively, which are subject to conditions that are expected to be satisfied in 2014 for completion of the transactions.