BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 7 (UPI) -- Development of the third phase of the Shah Deniz natural gas reserve offshore Azerbaijan is expected within the next 20 years, an energy analyst said in Baku.
Azerbaijan hosted this week's Caspian Oil and Gas conference, bringing more than 40 speakers and delegates from 35 countries to the capital.
European leaders are eager to tap into natural gas from phase 2 of the Shah Deniz natural gas field in the Caspian Sea as a way to break Russia's grip on the regional energy sector. Phase 2 could produce as much as 560 billion cubic feet of natural gas starting in 2017.
Matthew Shaw, an energy analyst at consultancy group Wood Mackenzie, said a third phase could come online in the coming decades.
"Shah Deniz phase 3 is much more conceptual at this stage, it could be started in [the] 2030s," he was quoted by the news division of the Platts energy reporting agency as saying Thursday.
A BP-led group operating the Shah Deniz field is expected in June to choose between the Nabucco West and Trans-Adriatic natural gas pipelines to ferry Azeri natural gas to European consumers.