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Baku invites more to Turkish gas line

Feb. 14, 2012 at 8:08 AM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan would appreciate major international companies taking part in a natural gas pipeline planned through Turkish territory, an executive said.

The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic has a majority interest in the Trans-Anatolia gas pipeline planned with Turkish Pipeline Corp.

SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said alongside Turkish officials that more partners were welcome to join the transnational pipeline.

"We would like other large international companies to be part of the project as well," he was quoted by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman as saying.

The Turkish pipeline is considered a blow to European plans to build the Nabucco pipeline for Europe through Turkey. European leaders are searching for ways to break Russia's grip on the energy sector through a series of transit networks dubbed the Southern Corridor. Of those, Nabucco is the most ambitious, though it's also the most expensive and lacks firm commitments from gas-rich countries like Azerbaijan.

Abdullayev countered that the Turkish pipeline, dubbed TANAP, isn't a competitor to Nabucco.

"The two projects are in synergy and they add value to each other," he said.

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