Azerbaijan’s SOCAR seeks company to check feasibility of Albania gas project
BAKU, March 9 (Reuters) – Azerbaijan state energy company SOCAR plans to announce a tender to find a company to conduct a feasibility study on Albania’s gas infrastructure plan as part of European efforts to reduce dependence on gas from Russia.
Albania and Azerbaijan signed a preliminary agreement in December to cooperate in development of an Albanian gas grid as the Balkan country leads construction of the European section of the project to bring Azeri gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea.
The so-called southern corridor will bring gas to Turkey and Greece, as well to Italy via Albania and the Adriatic Sea.
“SOCAR will announce this tender in the next three months,” Murad Heydarov, adviser to SOCAR’s president, told Reuters.
“We should draft the feasibility study before the end of 2015, and if this project is considered effective, we will start Albania’s gasification project in March next year.”
Heydarov estimated the project’s cost at “several hundred million dollars”.
Azeri gas could reach southern Europe by the end of this decade through the proposed Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the Trans Anatolian Pipeline.
These pipelines would carry billions of cubic metres of gas a year from Shah Deniz II, one of the world’s largest gas fields, which is being developed by a BP-led consortium.