Israeli-Turkish gas pipeline project may revive Nabucco West

According to US ex-Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza’s statement last week, Turcas Holding, a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), offered to build a gas pipeline along the Mediterranean Sea to link the Israeli gas fields and the Turkish port. Both Israel and Turkey received the offer.

The project includes construction of a 470-km pipeline from the Leviathan and Tamar Fields to the Mersin Port of Turkey for $2.5 billion. It will have a capacity of 16 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

Ilham Shaban, head of the Baku Center for Oil Studies, said that transportation of the gas volumes from Turkey to Europe was still a problem. The 15-16 billion cubic meters could not be pumped into the TAP. Should the new pipeline be built, with account of development of Israeli fields, it will remain a dragged issue until 2020. The TAP with its capacity of 10 billion cubic meters will not be able to pump such volumes.

The expert noted that the TAP could be expanded to 20 billion cubic meters, but it would only happen when Apsheron gas will be merged with the Shah Deniz gas. 

Shaban noted that the project of the Turcas Holding was a chance for realization of the Nabucco West project. He emphasized that Israeli gas volumes pumped from the southern to the wester part of Turkey through Botas infrastructure without any problems.

Construction of the pipeline along the Mediterranean Sea was not impossible, Shaban explained. When Eni was building the Blue Stream, the pipeline was constructed 2km deep and there were no problems. The Mediterranean Sea only differs by the higher density of salt, but that would not be a problem for a well-isolated pipeline.

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