BP plays down impact of Russia call to scrap South Stream pipe
TANAP will carry 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea, one of the world’s largest gas fields, which is being developed by a BP-led consortium.An executive from British Petroleum (BP) has downplayed potential impacts on the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), a proposed natural gas pipeline from Azerbaijan running through Turkey, upon a recent decision by Russia to scrap the proposed South Stream gas pipeline and instead create a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border.
TANAP envisages carrying 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea, one of the world’s largest gas fields, which is being developed by a BP-led consortium.
“The 16 billion cubic meters of gas that TANAP will carry has already been sold and related long-term agreements with European companies, thus consumers, have already been finalized,” Murat Lecompte, Director of Communications for BP Turkey, told the Hürriyet Daily News Dec. 3.
“Accordingly, the button has already been pressed. At this stage, any direct impact is out of question,” Lecompte added.
Earlier in the day, President of BP Turkey Bud Fackrell echoed Lecompte’s view. According to Fackrell, the new pipeline project idea floated during Putin’s visit will not have any impact on TANAP.
“All required steps for launching TANAP have been taken and the button has been pushed anyhow,” Fackrell said at “The 4th TEPAV-BP Energy Forum” hosted by the Economy Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) in cooperation with BP Turkey and Turkey’s Energy Ministry.
Only two days before the forum, on the sidelines of Putin’s visit to the Turkish capital city, Russia’s Gazprom and the Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of an offshore gas pipeline across the Black Sea toward Turkey with the annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Putin, speaking in Ankara after talks with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said instead of the South Stream pipeline, Russia and Turkey may instead build a gas hub for southern Europe near the Turkish border with Greece.
Displaying awareness of concerns over a potential shadow to be cast over the future and efficiency of TANAP after Putin’s statement, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız also said the new deal would not have any negative impact on the implementation of TANAP.
In response to insistent questions, Lecompte underlined that TANAP was “in the first phase” constructed in order to carry and transit 16 billion cubic meters of gas. “Thus, it [TANAP] is not getting influenced in any case. That is to say, it [the new plan] has no direct connection with TANAP,” Lecompte added.