New pipeline might pass Nabucco target
Gökhan Kurtaran ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe recently announced Trans-Anatolian Pipeline project by Azerbaijani state-owned SOCAR might surpass Nabucco, as it might be more feasible to connect this line with Southeastern European Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in the short-run, said the top representative of TAP.
“Europe talks about the Turkmen gas, almost two-thirds of which they lost to Russia with a 2003 agreement,” Cenk Pala, Turkey’s representative of TAP Project, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday at the sidelines of a roundtable discussion on Southern Corridor in Istanbul.
Nabucco has already lost its importance due to lack of European leadership and lack of resources to secure the needed supply, he said. “Nabucco is a commercially driven project and no investment decision can be made unless the supplies are granted beforehand.”
He said Europe was already late to take a share in Turkmen gas but can still make use of the vast gas resources of Iraq, although no sooner than 2020.
[HH] EU backs Nabucco
However, Heinz Hilbrecht, former director of European Commission Department of Energy, said the European Union continues to back the Nabucco project to diversify its energy dependency from Russia to other sources.
“Through Gazprom, Russia continues to pressure Turkmenistan not to supply gas for Nabucco,” said Hilbrecht. Not only Azerbaijani gas, but Turkmen and Iraqi gas will be needed in the future, he said.
“The legal framework for the Caspian Sea basin has not been settled yet,” said İlter Turan, professor of political science at Istanbul Bilgi University’s international relations department. Wolfgang Sporrer, Caspian regional manager of OMV Gas & Power, said, “Negotiations still continue between parties, and the Nabucco consortium has no difficulty in financing the project.”
“Everybody keeps complaining about the delay in Nabucco, but not about the delay in Russia’s South Stream project,” Hilbercht said. Despite Russia’s effort to promote the South Stream Project, it was too expensive to be realized, he said.
Azerbaijan and Turkey agreed Oct. 26 to transfer 6 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the second phase of the Shah Deniz field and to ship 10 billion cubic meters to European customers via Turkey.
SOCAR’s latest proposal of Trans-Anatolian Pipeline project has not been announced with many details, Pala said. “Still, the project opens more opportunities for connecting it with transporting TAP has across Turkey, Greece, Albania and to southern Italy and further to western Europe.”
Pala said TAP’s total capacity will be nearly 10 billion cubic meters, which would be easy to provide through the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline project.
SOCAR announced the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline project to carry Azeri gas through Turkey with approximate capacity of 16 to 17 billion cubic meters on Nov. 17 in Istanbul.