Tanap Starts Filling with Gas
The first stage of the 2000-km Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), from Azerbaijan’s Caspian shores to Eskiseher in northwest Turkey, started up May 29 with a ceremony in Baku.
The gas will reach Eskiseher by June 12, when an event to inaugurate SGC’s Turkish section - Trans Anatolian pipeline (Tanap) - will take place a week earlier than previously scheduled, attended by the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey.
First gas deliveries to Turkey will come from Shah Deniz 1 (SD1) until SD2 starts production in September 2018. Volumes supplied will rise gradually to 16.16bn m³/yr by 2020, of which Turkey will take 6bn m³ with the rest going to the European Union. In all, SGC from Azerbaijan to Italy will be 3,500 km long and be fully operative in 2020, when the final westernmost Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) leg starts up.
In all, Turkey imported some 55.2bn m3 gas in 2017, 19% more than the previous year, of which above 77% was piped gas. Socar Turkey Energy company CEO Zaur Gahramanov told NGW that Azerbaijan had considered participating in Turkey’s LNG market but said that, as the country’s import infrastructure can meet its demand, that “our major focus is now piped gas”.
Azerbaijan eyes Babek and Umid
Alongside BP-led Shah Deniz, Azerbaijan started drillings in Absheron offshore field with French Total recently. The first phase will pump 1.5bn m3/yr to Azerbaijan’s domestic market by 2019, but the second phase is projected for export. It is the first time that state-run Socar operates jointly a major gas field with a foreign partner. Baku also plans to develop two other fields: Babek and Umid.
Socar investments chief Vagif Aliyev told NGW that talks on a service contract started with Lukoil, Total and BP too. Socar plans to increase production at Umid, he said. Umid contains 200bn m3 reserves, but Babek may holds twice that, although the appraisal will be needed to provide a definite figure.
The final capacity of SGC is 31bn m3/yr and Azerbaijan plans to take more of a share in western markets in future. Azerbaijan also preparing to develop some other fields like Karabagh, Dan Ulduzu, Ashrafi and Shafag-Asiman in the Caspian Sea.