Turkey wants to wrap up a transit deal with Azerbaijan for new gas from the Shah Deniz field before an end-September deadline, its energy minister told Reuters, in a step seen as vital to the Europe-backed Nabucco pipeline.
Azerbaijan is negotiating with Turkey to sell 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.In an interview on Wednesday, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz also said Turkey was demanding a reduction of natural gas prices from Russia and sees this as crucial for a renewal agreement by end-August over a 6 bcm pipeline west to Russia via Ukraine.
When asked about the end-September deadline for the Azerbaijan deal to be finalised, Yildiz said: “I have recommended to our friends to speed things up,” referring to all the parties involved. “We want this to be signed even earlier.”
“We, as the Turkish Republic, have done all we can,” Yildiz said. “To kickstart, to speed up this project, this (deal) needs to be signed.”
After a break due to elections in Turkey, talks surrounding the deal resumed late last month, when Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visited Baku.
Nabucco is courting Azerbaijan to supply the gas aimed at reducing Europe’s energy dependence on Russia. But the pipeline faces competition for Azeri gas from the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
Turkey’s envoy to Azerbaijan said earlier this month there was a “range of technical issues” that needed to be resolved, but he did not elaborate on what those were. Azeri energy officials have said the legal framework had to be resolved.
The Shah Deniz field is being developed by BP and Statoil as well as Azeri state energy company SOCAR and several others. It is estimated to contain 1.2 trillion cubic metres of gas.
Production began in 2006 and the second phase is expected to come onstream by 2017. Azerbaijan has been in talks with more than 20 companies and consortia looking to buy gas from Shah Deniz II.
From / Gulf Today