By Aynur Jafarova
Construction of the upper modules of two platforms in the second stage of development of Azerbaijan's giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea will be completed in summer 2017, a source in oil and gas market told Trend Agency.
"AMEC-Tekfen-Azfen" (ATA) consortium will construct the upper modules. Last year, ATA completed the construction of West Chirag topsides which were installed as part of increasing oil production on the block of Azeri-Chirag- Gunashli offshore fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea," the source said.
ATA consortium is comprised of AMEC MMC, Tekfen Insaat ve Tesisat A.S. and Azfen joint venture.
After completion of construction and testing, the process of delivery, installation and commissioning of the upper platform modules will be completed in 2018.
Currently, works are underway to expand ATA production units. Meanwhile, as part of the project, new plants are expected to be constructed. The project also envisages construction of additional generating capacity and other works associated with additional involvement of working force.
The source said about 5,000 specialists are expected to get involved in the project.
"Along with works underway on the expansion of production units - they have been carried out by 80 percent so far - other works are underway on the production of needed parts for construction and installation of modules," the source said.
"The works started three months earlier than prescribed terms [in April], but from July 16, construction works on this project [construction of upper modules] will be officially launched, which will determine the progress of works in accordance with the schedule."
In December 2013, British BP, the operator of the Shah Deniz project, announced the signing of a contract worth $974 million with the ATA consortium within the Shah Deniz-2 project.
Under the contract, the upper modules of production and technological platforms include a residential unit to be constructed within five years. The contractor is responsible for implementation of all procedures before commissioning.
The Shah Deniz field, one of the world's largest gas-condensate fields, was discovered in 1999. Its reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas. The field has proven to be a secure and reliable supplier of gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Europe.
The gas which will be produced at the second stage of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field development will be the main source of Southern Gas Corridor, which envisages transportation of Caspian gas to European markets.
The Shah Deniz consortium announced the selection of TAP as the main route for transporting its gas to Europe in late June. Another pipeline which was vying for Azerbaijan's gas transportation to Europe was Nabucco West.
Azerbaijan agreed to sell over 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from second phase of its Shah Deniz development to nine companies in the European Union in September 2013.
The contracts were signed for 25 years between SOCAR and the European utilities, including Axpo Trading AG, Bulgargaz EAD, Depa, Gas Natural Fenosa, Hera Trading Srl, Shell Energy Europe, Enel SpA, E.ON SE, and GDF Suez SA.
The initial capacity of TAP will amount to 10 billion cubic meters per annum with the possibility of expanding to 20 billion cubic meters per annum. The TAP's construction project is planned to start in 2015.