World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey signed an important agreement Friday with Azerbaijan, raising its shares in Trans Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which carries Azerbaijani gas to Europe and in the massive natural gas field, Shah Deniz, located offshore.
"These projects are historical milestones that will shape the political, social and economic outlook of our region," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during the signing ceremony in Istanbul.
Turkey’s energy minister, Taner Yildiz, also praised the $45 billion deal and described it as a strategic agreement in which Turkey utilizes all of its geographic advantages.
"Six billion cubic meters of the natural gas will be sold to Turkey and the rest 10 billion will be sent to Europe," said Erdogan, as TANAP, through Bulgaria, will be connected to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, or TANAP, a planned natural gas pipeline reaching to Europe from Azerbaijan via Turkey.
Erdogan said that the project would help Turkey build solid and genuine relations with Europe, which is seeing to reduce its dependence on Russian gas amidst the crisis in Ukraine.
"First gas flow is to commence by 2018 and an annual amount of 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas will flow via TANAP by 2020," said President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev.
With the agreement signed Friday, Turkey increased its share from 20 to 30 percent in TANAP.
As for the Shah Deniz gas field, according to the partnership structure following Friday's agreement, Turkey now owns 19 percent as opposed to nine before, thus becoming the second largest shareholder after British Petroleum (BP).
Shah Deniz is among the largest gas fields in the world with nearly 1.4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Apart from Azerbaijan, gas extracted from Shah Deniz field is exported to Georgia and Turkey.
An additional phase of drilling and pipeline projects has been undertaken in recent years in order to extract additional gas from Shah Deniz and export it to European markets via TANAP.
The planned pipeline will be protected by a high-tech security system which will merge optical sensors, motion perception cables and laser scanners to eye compressors, gas valves and pigging and measuring stations.
Along with trained security staff and surveillance cameras, an illumination system will also ease reactions against any problems, a draft environmental impact assessment report by TANAP said.
Also, a staff and vehicle identification system will be decorated with digital equipment, which will ease detecting any attacks on the pipeline and its stations, Anadolu Agency reported May 29.Last Mod: 30 Mayıs 2014, 18:04