BP Offers Pipeline Plan To Transport Transport Azerbaijan Gas To Europe

October 2011, Vol. 238 No. 10

BP has proposed an alternative pipeline project to feed Europe with Caspian natural gas. The project, South East Europe Pipeline, would link Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field to a hub in Austria running from western Turkey across Bulgaria and Romania to Hungary’s border.

The South East Europe Pipeline would be 800 miles long and transport 10 Bcm/y of gas which Azerbaijan plans to sell to European markets.

A BP spokesman said the oil major and its partners in the Shah Deniz II field – Statoil and Azeri state oil company Socar – could build a pipeline from Turkey to the Romanian-Hungarian border. As operator of the Shah Deniz field – the main Azeri natural gas field – BP may hold some influence over which pipeline the Shah Deniz consortium chooses.

Other competing pipelines to transport Azeri gas include the EU-backed Nabucco and Russian-backed South Stream. Also there is the long- planned Trans Adriatic Pipeline, or TAP, being developed by three companies, including Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil ASA (STO, STL.OS), which has a stake in Shah Deniz. Another is the ITGI, Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy, backed by Italy’s Edison SpA (EDN.MI) and Greek gas monopoly DEPA, which is thought to be among the most advanced of the planned projects in terms of engineering and construction permits.

According to a Rigzone report, the BP proposal came just ahead of an Oct. 1 deadline for competing pipeline projects to present a detailed transportation offer to the Shah Deniz consortium which is expected to make a decision by the end of the year.