By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) considers the end of 2020 to be the deadline for the launch of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) that will take gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Denis field to European markets.
“The problems which had arisen in the past have been solved and that the entire project is nearing completion. TAP, the last element of the Southern Gas corridor is 91percent complete. The conservative timing to make TAP operational was the end of 2020 – possibly earlier than that. The entire TAP system will be made operational in one go,” SOCAR Deputy Vice President for Investment & Marketing Vitaly Baylarbayov said.
He noted that a 25-year supply contract has been signed with Italy to supply Azerbaijani gas from Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz field and the volume of supplies is 8 billion cubic meters per year. Greece and Bulgaria will receive billion cubic meters of gas per year once TAP and Greece-Bulgaria interconnector are completed.
“All the buyers are lined up, waiting for the supplies. Hopefully there will be no further obstacles,” SOCAR official said.
“TAP will be able to meet Italy's growing demand for natural gas. We understand that Italy will need more gas in the next 10 years, much more than they have now. From that point of view, the capacity of the Southern gas corridor and its TAP leg is sufficient to cover most of this potential deficit,” Baylarbayov said.
Furthermore, he stressed that Southern Gas Corridor is not in competition with the Turkish stream.
“Our volumes, contracted to Greece, Bulgaria and Italy for 25 years, will start arriving in Italy as soon as TAP is ready. This cannot be changed. Whether there will be Russian, Libyan, Algerian or any other gas, it doesn’t matter, because we secured our own place,” he said.
He noted that sixteen wells have been drilled in the Shah Deniz gas field and are now fully ready for operations.
“Eight of the wells are producing already and their gas is flowing to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The rest will be gradually put onstream with full capacity once works on the final stretch in Italy are fully completed,” he said.
Baylarbayov added that Azerbaijani gas from Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz field has already been supplied to Turkey from July 1, 2018, through the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), one of the SGC components.
“It [Turkey] received about 2bcm in 2018, about 4bcm in 2019, and in 2020 the supplies should be about 6 bcm. This is in addition to the 6 bcma which Shah Deniz supplies from the Stage 1 of its development,” he noted.
Baylarbayov noted that he strongly believes in the potential of Shah Deniz which will justify its 3d and even 4th Stages of further development. He added that huge potential of other Azerbaijani fields which are already under exploration and development.
TAP along with South Caucasus Pipeline and Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TAP) is part of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Note that the Southern Gas Corridor envisages the creation of a pipeline infrastructure for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas extracted from the Stage 2 development of the Shah Deniz field to Europe through Turkey.
SGC comprises the following four projects: (i) operation of Shah Deniz natural gas-condensate field ("SD1" project) and its full-field development ("SD2'" project), (ii) the operation of the South Caucasus Pipeline ("SCP" project) and its expansion ("SCPX" project), (iii) the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline ("TANAP" project) and (iv) the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline ("TAP" project) (SD2, SCPX, TANAP and TAP collectively, the "Projects").
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