ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic announced it signed contracts in Turkey for the construction of the Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline.
The contract calls for a consortium of Turkish companies, and one Chinese contractor, to provide pipes for the TANAP pipeline.
"TANAP is not only an energy project, but also a huge peace project," the Turkish prime minister said in a statement Tuesday. "It builds a peace bridge between the Balkans and Caucasus."
TANAP will transport natural gas from the Shah Deniz complex off the coast of Azerbaijan through Turkey to the Greek border. British energy company BP leads the group that last year picked the Trans-Adriatic pipeline to carry Shah Deniz gas from there to the European Union.
Both pipelines are part of the so-called Southern Corridor of gas pipelines for Europe meant to break Russia's grip on the region's energy sector. Europe gets about a quarter of its gas needs met by Russia, though most of that runs through the Soviet-era transit network in Ukraine, where geopolitical conflicts present a risk to energy security.
SOCAR said the pipeline through Turkey should become operational by 2018.