MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) – Norway’s Statoil energy company is selling 10 percent of the project to develop Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field for $1.45 billion.
The stake in the gas field and the South Caucasus Pipeline, linking Shah Deniz to Turkey, is being divided between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), which will receive 6.7 percent, and BP, which will buy 3.3 percent.
The sale ahead of the stage two development of the Caspian Sea project reduces Statoil’s share from 25.5 percent to 15.5 percent from January 1. The oil and gas company said in a statement that its decision to divest was based on “rigid prioritization of future investment”.
The BP-led consortium’s other partners in developing Shah Deniz are Russia’s Lukoil, Iran’s NIOC, France’s Total and Turkey’s TPAO. Statoil said that the consortium’s plans for stage two of Shah Deniz and the extension of the South Caucasus Pipeline would cost around $28 billion.
“This decision triggers plans to expand the South Caucasus Pipeline through Azerbaijan and Georgia, to construct the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline across Turkey and to construct the Trans Adriatic Pipeline across Greece, Albania and into Italy,” Statoil said.
“Together these projects will create a new Southern Gas Corridor to Europe.”
Europe has sought to diversify its energy supplies after pricing disputes between Russia and Ukraine halted gas deliveries to consumers of several European countries in 2006 and 2009.
Total reserves of Shah Deniz are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas and 240 million tons of condensate.