Westerners eye TANAP share

Westerners eye TANAP share

BAKU - Reuters
Westerners eye TANAP share

BP, Statoil and Total are set to buy a stake in theTrans-Anatolia Pipeline project.

BP, Statoil and Total have agreed to acquire a combined 29 percent in the Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP), designed to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas, Azeri state energy company SOCAR said. BP and Statoil each will have a 12 percent stake, and Total will get 5 percent, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said yesterday.

A spokeswoman for BP-Azerbaijan said the company expected completion of discussions in a few weeks over participation in the TANAP project, which would take Azeri gas to western Turkey and to other markets in Europe.

“BP is working with other participants of the project in order to speed up technical and commercial aspects of its implementation,” spokeswoman Tamam Bayatly said. She did not reveal any financial details.

The European Commission aims to bring in large volumes of Central Asian gas through a so-called Southern Corridor pipeline as it tries to reduce dependence on Russian gas and avoid supply disruptions caused by disputes between Russia and Ukraine.

Construction of the TANAP pipeline from the Turkish-Georgian border to Turkey’s border with Europe is expected to start at the end of 2013.

Turkey has a 20 percent stake in TANAP, while SOCAR holds 80 percent. SOCAR offered in September to sell BP, Statoil and Total 29 percent of the total, taken out of its stake. Azerbaijan’s $33 billion fund said on Nov. 6 it would help finance the TANAP starting from 2013 but did not specify the amount of money it might invest.