BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 23 (UPI) -- Despite a need for roughly $20 billion in investments, the second phase of the Shah Deniz gas field should come online in 2010, the Azeri president said.
Azerbaijan President Illham Aliyev told lawmakers that concrete measures would be taken to start development of Phase 2 of Shah Deniz in 2010, the Azerbaijan Business Center reports.
"It still needs $20 billion in investments on its realization, but this is a real estimate and a real program," he stressed.
The offshore Shah Deniz field has the capacity to produce 318 billion feet of gas from its initial phase, with another 706 billion cubic feet expected from Phase 2 in the next few years.
The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic and Turkish pipeline company BOTAS scheduled talks for August to consider volumes and pricing terms of natural gas from Shah Deniz.
Azerbaijan has emerged as a key regional energy giant, with customers in Europe and Central Asia.
Russian energy giant Gazprom signed a deal in June to secure 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year from Azerbaijan in 2010, while Europe hopes to tap Azeri gas for its $10.3 billion Nabucco pipeline.