EU eyes for new gas supplies from Azerbaijan

22 April 2019 14:05 (UTC+04:00)

By Leman Mammadova

Azerbaijan possesses new promising gas fields that can be used as additional sources to further expand Azerbaijan's gas export volume to Europe.

European Union (EU) may be interested in gas supplies from fields that are yet to be developed in Azerbaijan.

“As part of its security policy, the EU may be interested in further gas supplies from the Caspian Sea (for example, from new, not yet explored fields in Azerbaijan or from Turkmenistan) under suitable conditions,” the European Commission told Trend.

As noted by the European Commission, it is important to emphasize that the EU’s energy diversification policy is aimed not only at new gas sources, but also at new supply routes. From this point of view, the European Commission stressed the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) for diversifying energy supplies to the EU.

“Once the project is completed, the EU will receive 10 billion cubic meters of gas from Shah Deniz-2 in Azerbaijan. The capacity of the SGC can be easily expanded with more powerful compressor stations,” stated the organization.

There are technical capabilities to expand this gas pipeline since SGC was originally designed in a way so that its capacity can be doubled.

Earlier, BP, operator of Shah Deniz field, said that Azerbaijan’s fields such as Shafag-Asiman and Umid-Babek can be used to expand the SGC. As noted by the company, SGC can be expanded in two directions. The first direction includes Azerbaijan’s gas resources, and not only Shah Deniz, but also other fields, such as Shafag-Asiman, Umid-Babek, fields operated by SOCAR and other fields. The second direction includes gas resources of other countries. This question depends on the willingness and interest of these countries.

The forecast reserves of the Shafag-Asiman block stand at 500 billion cubic meters of gas and 65 million tons of condensate. At the same time, Umid field has over 200 billion cubic meters of gas and 40 million tons of condensate. However, the reserves of the Babek structure may stand at 400 billion cubic meters of gas and 80 million tons of condensate, according to preliminary data.

The SGC, a $40 billion worth project, envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and Europe through the pipeline, which will be operated within the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. Gas produced within Shah Deniz Stage 2 will be transported from the Caspian Sea to Europe, through Italy, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and the seabed of the Adriatic Sea.

The SGC consists of four projects: Shah Deniz 2, Expansion of South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum), the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

TAP, the final leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, is more than 85 percent complete, and gas transportation within the second stage of development of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field will begin in 2020.

Perhaps SGC is one of the most ambitious projects in the world oil and gas industry, as well as a complex target that involves many different stakeholders, including seven governments and 11 companies.

On May 29, 2018, Baku hosted the launch of the first phase of the SGC project, and on June 12, the opening ceremony of the TANAP took place in the Turkish province of Eskisehir.

The first gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field has already gone through the first segment of the SGC - from the Sangachal terminal to the expanded South Caucasus Pipeline.

Recently, TAP and TANAP successfully completed their connection on the banks of the Merich River on the Turkish-Greek border.


Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888

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