Turkey May Speed Up Building Pipeline for Azerbaijani Gas

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Turkey and Azerbaijan say they may speed up building a new natural gas pipeline, a statement that comes amid Turkey’s bitter rift with Russia.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday after talks in Baku with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev that the TANAP gas project could be completed before its original target, 2018. Aliyev said it would also serve to export Azerbaijan’s gas further on to Europe.

The announcement came hours after Russia said it halted talks on building a prospective pipeline to Turkey amid tensions over the downing of a Russian warplane.

The TANAP pipeline is intended to carry oil from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea fields to Turkey. It is expected to have a capacity of 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year and cost $10 billion.

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