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Azerbaijan close to Turkey gas transit deal

Azerbaijan is very close to signing a gas transit deal with Turkey to ship exports from its Shah Deniz field to Europe, the country's energy minister, Natig Aliyev, said on Friday.

"We are very close to signing," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting at the European Parliament's offices in Paris.

"There are some minor issues which are not on the transit itself but rather about expenditures...There will also be some negotiations on the price of transit. We agree on the volumes that will be delivered to Turkey. That is why we only have very small issues that still need to be agreed."

Aliyev said he expected an accord to be signed at the end of September or in early October.

Azerbaijan is negotiating to sell Ankara 6 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year from the second phase of the giant Shah Deniz field and to ship 10 bcm to European customers via Turkey.

The EU-backed Nabucco pipeline is one of three pipeline projects bidding for Azerbaijan to supply 10 bcm of gas per year to be pumped directly to Europe, bypassing Russia.

The 27-member EU bloc announced on Monday that it had agreed to negotiate a treaty with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to bring natural gas from the world's fourth-largest reserves across the Caspian Sea to Europe.

Source: Reuters

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