BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 30 (UPI) -- Proposals from competing natural gas pipelines planned to service European consumers are expected by mid-May, a BP official said.
The BP-led consortium managing the Shah Deniz 2 gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan said it started work on front end engineering and design. This means more wells will be drilled and commercial agreements will be finalized for the giant offshore natural gas field.
The consortium in February announced that it chose the Trans-Adriatic pipeline for the southern section of the so-called Southern Corridor, a network of natural gas pipelines planned for southern Europe.
Al Cook, a BP vice president for Shah Deniz development, said in an interview featured in TAP's newsletter that the consortium in Baku was expecting SEEP and Nabucco West proposals for Central European routes by May 15.
BP proposed SEEP in September. It would travel from eastern Turkey to the Austrian border. Nabucco West, a scaled-down version of the larger $10.4 billion pipeline, would follow a similar route.
Cook said the May 15 deadline would give the consortium the opportunity to start charting the course of other proposals.
"Once that has been done, we'll then work with the winner of the Central European route and TAP to develop these projects further," he said. "We expect to make a final route selection ahead of mid-2013."