BP Turns Over Rights to Operate South Caucasus Pipeline

BAKU (Reuters) - BP has turned over rights to operate the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), part of the network that is due to start carrying gas from Azerbaijan to Europe this year, to a unit of Azeri state energy firm SOCAR, the groups said on Thursday.

South Caucasus Pipeline workers. (photo: BP)

In line with an agreement initially signed in 2013, SOCAR Midstream Operations will take over as technical operator of all dedicated SCP facilities in Azerbaijan and Georgia, BP, SOCAR and the SCP said in a joint statement.

"We remain committed to working with SOCAR to ensure continued safe and reliable operation of the pipeline," Gary Jones, BP's regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said in the statement.

The Sangachal terminal in Azerbaijan, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the Western Route Export Pipeline will continue to be operated by BP.

BP is leading the international consortium developing Azerbaijan's giant Shah Deniz field, which is expected to make its first deliveries to Europe this year via the Southern Gas Corridor, of which the SCP is a part.

The network also consists of two other pipelines - the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) through Turkey and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to Greece, Albania and Italy.

The Shah Deniz I field, which has been pumping gas since 2006, has production capacity of 8 billion cubic metres (bcm). Output from Shah Deniz II is expected to reach 16 bcm per year, with 10 bcm earmarked for Europe and 6 bcm for Turkey.

Its first commercial gas deliveries to Turkey from Shah Deniz II began in June 2018.

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