BAKU, Azerbaijan – The Shah Deniz consortium has chosen the Nabucco West project as its favored route for Stage 2 gas exports from the Caspian Sea field to southeast and central Europe.
Nabucco West’s route runs from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Baumgarten. Development of the South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP) project, coordinated by Shah Deniz partners in collaboration with Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary, will cease.
According to operator BP, the partners based their decision on publicly communicated selection criteria announced in 2011. Also, the greater maturity of Nabucco West gave them greater confidence that this project could be developed and delivered on the same time scale as Shah Deniz Stage 2.
They will now cooperate with the Nabucco West project to optimize the scope, technical studies, and commercial issues.
Following the same criteria, the consortium opted this February for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the potential route for export of Stage 2 gas to Italy. Recently both parties concluded a co-operation agreement.
The consortium will continue to work with the owners of the two selected pipeline options, and will make a final decision between these projects, and conclude related gas sales agreements, ahead of the Shah Deniz final investment decision in mid-2013.
Rovnag Abdullayev, president of SOCAR, said: “This decision constitutes a significant step towards implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor Strategy which would serve the strategic interest for sustained energy security of European countries as well as Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.
Stage 2 is targeting first gas exports around end-2017. The development should add a further 16 bcm/yr of gas production to the current output of 9 bcm/yr from Shah Deniz Stage 1.
The Shah Deniz field is 70 km (43 mi) offshore in the Azeri sector. It will likely feature two new bridge-linked production platforms; 26 subsea wells drilled by two semisubmersible rigs; 500 km (310 mi) of subsea pipelines in water depths of up to 550 m (1,804 ft); a 16 bcm/yr upgrade for the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP); and expansion of the Sangachal terminal.
Further pipelines will be built and expanded to transport Shah Deniz gas through Turkey and Europe, BP adds.