BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- British energy company BP, in charge of an Azeri natural gas field, said it would take on a stake in a gas pipeline planned through Turkey.
BP-Azerbaijan Vice President for Shah Deniz Al Cook said his company signed a framework agreement for a 12 percent stake in the Trans-Anatolian natural gas project. The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic has a majority stake in the pipeline.
"BP is very committed to TANAP," Cook was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying.
Turkey and Ankara and Azerbaijan in June signed an agreement to build the 1,300-mile pipeline.
Project partners expect to have TANAP built before Shah Deniz starts production by 2017. First exports from the second phase of the Shah Deniz field are expected by 2018.
TANAP would cross Turkish territory to the European border before it connects to either the Nabucco West or Trans-Adriatic pipelines. The BP-led consortium managing the Shah Deniz II offshore gas field in Azerbaijan is expected to make its decision between Nabucco West and TAP by June.
The projects fall under the umbrella of the Southern Corridor, a European network of pipelines meant to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector.