SOCAR: Gas pipeline could be built between 2 fields in the Caspian Sea

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Additional gas resources offshore Azerbaijan could flow via the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) in the future, as could gas from Turkmenistan, Elshad Nassirov, SOCAR vice president or investment and marketing, said on an Atlantic Council webinar, Report informs referring to the S&P Global Platts.

Baku and Ashgabat made a major breakthrough last month when they signed a landmark agreement to jointly develop the Dostluk field that spans the border between the two countries’ maritime zones in the Caspian Sea, he said.

The agreement ended a 30-year dispute between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan as to which country had the rights to develop the field, formerly known as Kepez in Azerbaijan and Sardar in Turkmenistan, he noted.

Nassirov said the deal would not have been possible without the signing in August 2018 of the Convention of the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, completing the SGC and the end of the Armenia-Azerbaijan war in November last year.

“This new cooperation with Turkmenistan will open up more opportunities for Central Asian gas to also join the SGC,” he said.

The name of the field was changed last year to Dostluk – meaning friendship – ahead of talks expected to resolve the long-standing dispute.

Nassirov said that under the 2018 Convention, a gas pipeline could be built between two gas fields in the Caspian Sea without the need for a separate environmental assessment.

He added that ultimately it would be up to Turkmenistan to decide how to develop its gas resources, adding that gas from Turkmenistan had already reached Turkey in the past via Iran.

Nassirov said the final budget of the project came in at $33 billion, well below the original $45 billion price tag.

Israel could also be a future source of gas to flow through the SGC, he said.

“Israeli gas to Turkey and then entering TANAP with swaps in the Turkish market is commercially the most viable option to export gas from the East Mediterranean into Europe, and we support that option,” he said.