Ankara and Baku sign deal on TANAP
By Marie-Martine Buckens | Wednesday 27 June 2012
The intergovernmental agreement, signed on 26 June by Turkey and Azerbaijan for the construction of a pipeline (TANAP) to deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to the EU border through Turkey, “will create direct ties between Azerbaijan and Europe via Turkey,” commented Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Energy Commissioner Günther Oettigner applauded the agreement, on 27 June, saying that Europe is “a step closer to its goal of securing gas directly from the Caspian region”. TANAP (Trans-Anatolian Pipeline) is expected to deliver, within six years, 16 billion m
3, of which six billion to Turkey and ten billion to the European countries. The question of its route is still outstanding but the Shah Deniz consortium plans to provide a partial response in the coming days.
Europoliticswent to press, the announcement by BP – a member of the Shah Deniz consortium – that it planned to invest in a second project, of the three in competition, apparently confuses the issue.
One thing is certain: materialisation of the TANAP project sounds the death knell of the Nabucco gas pipeline, supported by the EU, at least its long version involving the construction of a pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria. There is also a shorter version: Nabucco West. It would run from the Greece-Bulgaria border, like its direct rival, the SEEP project championed by BP, which would take a similar route. On 30 June, the Shah Deniz consortium will announce which of these two projects is still in the competition. Competing with it is the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) project, which would deliver gas from the Turkish border to Italy via Greece and Albania. Baku will announce a decision between the latter two projects in June 2013.
ITALY THE BIG WINNER?
The TAP project – which involves EGL (Switzerland), Statoil (Norway) and E.ON Ruhrgas (Germany) – seems to be gaining ground. As its representatives step up trips to Brussels to obtain an exemption from network access rules, BP seems to have decided to invest in TAP as well, thus joining Statoil, its fellow member of the Shah Deniz consortium, Al Cook, vice-president of Shah Deniz Development, told
Dow Jones,on 27 June. BP’s intentions apparently do not stop there. The British company reportedly plans to acquire a share in the TANAP project. Meanwhile, TAP representatives sing the praises of their project: particularly attractive gas prices in Italy and the possibility for this country to become a gas hub in Europe by supplementing the existing four interconnectors and the two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. TAP sees even further: an interconnection in Albania with a future gas pipeline along the Adriatic coast would provide Azeri gas to countries like Montenegro and Croatia, candidates for EU membership.