Shah Deniz selects Nabucco West as Central Europe pipeline

The Shah Deniz consortium has selected the Nabucco West project, which extends from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Baumgarten in Austria, as the single pipeline option for the potential export of Shah Deniz II gas to Central Europe. Development of the South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP) project—assembled by Shah Deniz partners along with Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary—will cease.

The consortium described Nabucco’s greater maturity as giving it the best chance of being developed and delivered on the same yearend 2017 timeline as Shah Deniz II. The consortium said it will now cooperate with the Nabucco West project on scope, technical studies, and commercial terms.

The consortium selected the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in February as the potential route for Shah Deniz II gas to Italy and since concluded a cooperation agreement with TAP. Shah Deniz will make a final decision between these projects and conclude related gas sales agreements ahead of the Shah Deniz final investment decision planned for mid-2013.

Turkey and Azerbaijan agreed earlier this week to build the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline, which could potentially deliver Azeri gas to Nabucco West (OGJ Online, June 28, 2012).

Shah Deniz II will add 16 billion cu m/year of gas production to the roughly 9 bcm/year from Shah Deniz Stage 1. Field development, some 70 km offshore Baku in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, will include two new bridge-linked production platforms; 26 subsea wells to be drilled with 2 semisubmersible rigs; 500 km of subsea pipelines built at up to 550 m of water; a 16 billion cu m/year upgrade for the South Caucasus Pipeline; and expansion of the Sangachal Terminal.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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