SOCAR may offload pipeline shares

Sept. 7, 2012 at 10:18 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The state oil company in Azerbaijan offered a minority stake in the proposed Trans-Anatolia gas pipeline to potential partners, a spokesman said.

The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic offered to sell a 29 percent stake in the TANAP pipeline to potential partners like BP, Norwegian energy company Statoil and French major Total.

SOCAR spokesman Nizamaddin Quliyev confirmed to Bloomberg News that the company would retain a 51 percent stake in the pipeline.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev signed an agreement regarding the pipeline in June. TANAP is designed to carry natural gas from the BP-controlled Shah Deniz field in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea through Turkish territory.

BP officials last month said there were interested in acquiring a stake in the pipeline.

The project would cross through Turkish territory to the European border before it connects to either the Nabucco West or Trans-Adriatic pipelines. TANAP is designed to deliver as much as 350 billion cubic feet from Azerbaijan.

A final route decision and investment plans for the project are expected by next year.

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