Southern Gas Corridor to go ahead with no delay

Jan 14, 2015 12:00 AM

By Gulgiz Dadashova

Declining oil prices in the global markets has contributed to hot debates over the realization of major energy projects.

But the recent developments in the oil and gas market have not affected the implementation of the projects in the Southern Gas Corridor, launched in Baku last September.

The projects within the Southern Gas Corridor are underway. The works run on schedule and no problems or delays are observed, a senior official at SOCAR told when commenting on the possible effects of Turkish Stream and plummeting oil figures.

The source said the work is currently underway on the expansion of the South Caucasus gas pipeline, construction of Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline and other projects whose purposes are the delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

TANAP consortium will announce two more tenders within the construction of compressor stations, he added.

The 3,500-kilometer South Gas Corridor which would finally end Europe’s dependence on a single pipeline was initially launched as part of the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion, which will connect the Sangachal terminal with eastern Turkey through Georgia. It will link up with the SOCAR-led TANAP to be connected with a third pipeline TAP on the Turkish-Greek border.

The source further said that the decline in world oil prices will affect the ambitious plans of all companies, including Azerbaijan’s state energy giant SOCAR.

“SOCAR is operating in the global economic space feeling the effects of it [oil prices],” he said, noting that despite this, the crisis will not be felt during the realization of huge projects. “On the other hand, periodic fluctuations in world oil prices are part of the global economy.”

The source reminded that there was a time when oil prices were at $30 a barrel, and during the decision-making on the projects on development of Azerbaijani offshore oil and gas fields Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli and the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil price level was even lower [$15 per barrel].

"However, we even remember the time when oil prices exceeded $ 140 per barrel," he said, noting that all the above mentioned projects have been successfully realized.

The Southern Gas Corridor, including the Trans-Caspian Pipeline, remains a key policy priority among the European external energy policy. TANAP construction is due to be completed in 2018 and TAP in 2020 with first gas deliveries to Europe planned in the same year. The cost of the work on all four elements of the Southern Gas Corridor was estimated at almost $50 billion, according to the preliminary data.

SOCAR is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in the domestic and international markets, and supplying natural gas to industry and the public in Azerbaijan. Three production divisions, two oil refineries and one gas refinery, an oil tanker fleet, a deep water platform fabrication yard, two trusts, one institution, and 22 subdivisions are operating as corporate entities under SOCAR.

The company annually invests billions of dollars in transport infrastructure and is involved in key projects designed to increase Europe's energy security.

It owns gas stations in Azerbaijan, Switzerland, Georgia and Ukraine. It has representative offices in Georgia, Turkey, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Britain, Iran, Germany and Ukraine and trading companies in Switzerland, Singapore, Vietnam, Nigeria, and other countries.

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