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01.03.2013 16:25

SOFAZ announces plans to finance gas transportation projects

The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is preparing to finance the state's share of the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP), and it may potentially finance Nabucco West and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will ensure the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

This was stated on the official website of "New Europe", with reference to executive director of SOFAZ Shahmar Movsumov.

"We're going to start funding the state's share in the TANAP project. The discussion of this matter is at the preliminary stage. We have not yet determined the size of our share in the project, costs and other details," Movsumov said.

Addressing the question on possibility of participation of SOFAZ in financing of projects TAP or Nabucco, Movsumov replied: "Potentially, yes. But it's just talks. There is nothing concrete at this stage."

When asked about possible competition between the South Stream and Southern Gas Corridor projects, Movsumov said that the European market is extensive and the demand for gas will be sufficient to be satisfied by these projects. Therefore, he said, he sees no competition between the two projects.

According to Movsumov, Azerbaijan possesses sufficient volumes of gas, and its development requires drilling. However, the country's three mobile offshore drilling units are not sufficient for the development of available resources. That is why in 2013, SOFAZ will fund the construction of a new rig; major companies have already expressed interest in its use.

Transportation of such a large amount of gas requires reliable transportation infrastructure, capable of expansion. The Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) will become the one. Its capacity at the first phase will constitute 16 billion cubic meters a year with the possibility of future expansion to 30 billion cubic meters. In the future, this route will be used for the transportation of gas from the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea.

TANAP will form the basis of the Southern Gas Corridor, promoted by Europe and actively supported by Azerbaijan. Options for the delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe under long-term contracts are under consideration. Among them are the TAP and Nabucco projects. The final decision on these issues will be made in mid-2013.

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