Turkey natgas pipeline will be open to outside investors – SOCAR vp

18 May 2012 22:18  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The proposed trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline (TANAP) across Turkey will be open to outside investors, the vice-president of Azerbaijan's state oil and gas firm SOCAR said on Friday.

Azerbaijan has proposed TANAP as an alternative to the original 4,000 km EU-backed Nabucco pipeline, which would have run from Austria via Turkey to Azerbaijan, thus extending the EU’s influence all the way to the Caspian Sea.

TANAP could, if realised, be connected to a scaled-down 1,300km version of the Nabucco line from the Baumgarten natural gas hub in Austria to the Bulgaria-Turkey border.

SOCAR vice president Elshad Nassirov said outside investors could participate in TANAP, opening the door to the original Nabucco stakeholders to invest in it. He was briefing German daily Die Welt, which provided a transcript of the interview.

Nassirov said TANAP would provide SOCAR's Shah Deniz II gas field with a shipping capacity of 16bn cubic metres/year of gas – with 6bn going to the Turkish domestic market and the remaining 10bn to Europe.

Nassirov said Nabucco did not manage to secure enough gas supplies to fill the original Austria-to-Azerbaijan line to its targeted 31bn cubic metres/year capacity.

SOCAR therefore decided to back TANAP, which could be expanded at a later stage, Nassirov said.

Nabucco for years fended off critics who said there was not enough available gas from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq and Iran to fill the pipeline.

Nabucco’s shareholders are Austria’s OMV, Germany’s RWE, Hungary’s MOL, Turkey’s Botas, Bulgaria’s BEH and Romania’s Transgaz.

Additonal reporting by Will Conroy

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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