Azerbaijan ratifies agreement on gas transit via Turkey (UPDATE)
By Aynur Jafarova
The Azerbaijani parliament has ratified an agreement with Turkey on the transit of Azerbaijani gas through its territory and construction of an independent pipeline.
In particular, at its regular meeting the parliament ratified a Memorandum of Understanding between the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments on the transit of natural gas from Azerbaijan through Turkey's territory and construction of an independent gas pipeline (Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline) to ensure gas transit through Turkey.
Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Valeh Alasgarov said on Friday the memorandum is one of the documents included in the package of agreements which will be gradually adopted.
The Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project envisages gas transportation from the Shah Deniz field to Europe via Turkey. The initial capacity of the pipeline is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters per year. Around six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey and the rest - to Europe. The pipeline is expected to cost $7 billion. The construction is planned to start in 2014 and to be completed by 2018.
Presently, a 20 percent share in TANAP belongs to Turkish BOTAS and TPAO companies while 80 percent share is owned by State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). SOCAR intends to retain 51 percent of the equity in the project. The rest of SOCAR's share will be distributed between the partners of the Shah Deniz project.In January, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev approved the agreement on "The System of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline between the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments", signed in Istanbul on June 26, 2012.