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Baku, Ankara reach deal on natural gas

May 3, 2011 at 7:39 AM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 3 (UPI) -- Turkey and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the price and quantity of natural gas from the giant offshore Shah Deniz field, a minister said.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz signed a gas deal with his Azeri counterpart Natiq Aliyev on the sidelines of a regional conference in Istanbul.

Yildiz was quoted by Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman as saying both sides "reached an agreement over the price and quantity of gas to be exported from the Shah Deniz II project, which will go online in 2017, to Turkey."

Turkey gets about 210 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year from Azerbaijan and some of that volume heads to Greek markets. Yildiz didn't give specifics on the deal other than to say some of it would be exported to European countries.

Both countries are pivotal to European plans to build the Nabucco gas pipeline. That project is meant to break the Russian grip on the European energy sector, though the pipeline is slow to reach formal agreements with potential suppliers.

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