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American Scholar: European Energy Independence Begins with Delivery of Azerbaijani Natural Gas

The EU decided to support a pipeline to bring natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe, avoiding Russian territory and Russian infrastructure to ensure energy security of its citizens, James J. Coyle, a professor and the director of Global Education at Chapman University and chair of the Eurasian Committee of the Pacific Council on International Policy said in his article posted in Register Online Edition.

"This project was declared to be of community-wide importance, and was deemed eligible for EU grants to help with the construction costs. The original pipeline named Nabucco was supposed to run from Baku, Azerbaijan to Baumgarten, Austria. Azerbaijan pledged to deliver 10 billion bcm and encouraged the EU to find additional sources," the author said.

When the EU proved unable to make Nabucco work, Azerbaijan and Turkey decided to build the Trans Anatolian Pipeline, the author went on to say, adding that from 2018 on, this line is designed to carry 16 bcm per year of natural gas from the second phase of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Six billion cubic meters will be offloaded in Turkey, leaving 10 bcm for delivery to Europe, the author stresses. TANAP will link up with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline at the Turkish border and the natural gas will be delivered to Greece and Italy.

Eventually, as more Caspian gas becomes available, TANAP can double its capacity, Coyle said.

Over the longer term, TANAP/TAP could supply 20 percent of European energy demand, the article said. A group of companies led by British Petroleum has signed a $45 billion deal to expand the gas field and construct the pipelines, the professor at Chapman University said.

"It will increase our energy security by providing an additional route and a new source for gas supplies to Europe. There is also the potential to expand the southern corridor to reach major gas suppliers in the Middle East, which could bring huge additional benefits, the article said citing British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

"Thus, European energy independence begins with the delivery of Azerbaijani natural gas," Coyle said.

Documents regarding the adoption of a final investment decision on the Shah Deniz-2 project were signed in Baku on December 17, 2013. The Shah Deniz-2 is a major project, costing over $25 billion.

It is expected to produce 16 billion cubic meters of gas as part of the second stage of the field's development (in the first stage production amounts to nine billion cubic meters). Six billion cubic meters out of the produced gas will be transported to Turkey and the remaining 10 billion cubic meters will be delivered to Europe.

Also, the contract for development of Shah Deniz has been extended from 2036 to 2048 in line with the signed documents, and SOCAR's and operator BP's shares in the project have increased to 16.7 and 28.8 percent respectively.

Source: Trend

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