By Fatma Babayeva
Energy rich Azerbaijan will realize exports of its natural gas to the European Union in the next few years. More fields can be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network which is underway.
The natural gas produced in the Absheron field may be exported to Europe through the SCG as well, said Natig Abbasov, Deputy Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Republic during the meeting with representatives of the French Entrepreneurs' Organization MEDEF which held in Baku.
The information was disseminated by the Ministry of Azerbaijan on May 13.
Abbasov stressed that the capacity of the Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic (TAP) pipelines will allow exporting natural gas from Absheron field as well.
During the meeting, Thierry Darrigran, French energy company Total’s vice-president for Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan said that the company needs support to sell natural gas produced in Absheron field.
According to the forecasts, in Absheron field, natural gas will be produced for the first time in late 2021 or early 2022.
In addition, the final investment decision on the project will be made during the fourth quarter of 2017, and drilling of the first well is expected during the third quarter of 2019.
The opening of the field was announced in 2011. The shareholders of the Absheron project is SOCAR (40 percent), Total (40 percent) and Engie (20 percent).
Estimated reserves of the Absheron field amount to 350 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million tons of condensate, according to the geologists of SOCAR.
The SGC project is included to the range of priority projects for the EU. It envisages transportation of more than 10 billion cubic meters of gas from the Caspian region to Europe through Turkey.
The gas that will be obtained from the development of the second phase of the Shah Deniz field of Azerbaijan will act as a main source for the pipeline network. However, the other sources may be connected to SGC in future.
Within the framework of the project, the existing infrastructures will be upgraded and a chain of new pipelines will be developed.
Existing South Caucasus pipeline will be expanded with a new parallel pipeline through Azerbaijan and Georgia. Construction of Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic pipelines (TAP) are main elements of this project.
TANAP will pass through Turkey to join the TAP pipeline in the Greece border. Meanwhile, TAP will pass through Greece, Albania and southern part of Italy.
First gas delivery to Georgia and Turkey via SGC is scheduled for late 2018. However, gas deliveries to Europe are expected a year after the first gas is produced in offshore fields of Azerbaijan.
The SGC is one of the biggest construction projects of our times with a value of $45 billion which aims to improve the energy security of the EU and diversity its energy supply routes.
Fatma Babayeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Fatma_Babayeva
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