What is the Southern Gas Corridor?
The term Southern Gas Corridor is shorthand for one of the most complex energy infrastructure projects in the world. It includes the enhancement of existing infrastructure and the development of new fields and pipelines.
The Southern Gas Corridor will bring energy from the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea through the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCPX) between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) between Azerbaijan and Turkey, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) between Greece, Albania and Italy, and gas networks throughout Europe.
Once completed, the projects will connect Azerbaijani gas to six other countries with more than 2,100 miles (3,500 km) of transmission from the Caspian Sea to the shores of southern Europe and beyond.
Which companies are involved?
A total of eleven companies are involved in this undertaking. There are seven companies working on the development of the Shah Deniz field including BP, SOCAR, TPAO, PETRONAS, Lukoil and NICO. The other four companies involved in the project are Statoil, BOTAS, Enagas, Axpo and Fluxys.
What is Shah Deniz? How big is it?
The Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea is approximately 70 kilometers off the coast of Azerbaijan. It was discovered in 1999 and remains one of the largest gas condensate fields in the world. Its reservoirs under development hold 33 trillion cubic feet of gas, and there are additional reservoirs that could increase the gas in-place volumes to 50 trillion cubic feet.
At approximately 140 square kilometers, Shah Deniz is roughly equivalent in size and shape to Manhattan.
Shah Deniz has provided gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey safely and reliably since 2006.
What do I need to know about TANAP and TAP?
Once completed, TANAP and TAP will be capable of carrying more than 16 billion cubic meters (bcma) per year of Shah Deniz gas to Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Italy. These two pipelines alone will cost more than $15 billion. Once built, they can be expanded to twice their initial capacity if necessary.
TANAP is being led by Azerbaijan and SOCAR. It starts in eastern Turkey at the South Caucasus Pipeline expansion outlet and will traverse some 1,900 kilometers to western Turkey where it will connect to the TAP. Of the initial 16 bcma, 6 bcma are intended for Turkish customers and 10 bcma will continue on towards Europe via the TAP.
The TAP will initially be able to carry 10 bcma, but it too can expand up to 20 bcma if necessary. TAP will connect to TANAP in Kipoi, Greece before crossing into Albania at Fier, traveling beneath the Adriatic Sea and coming ashore in Italy. The total length of the TAP is 870 kilometers, 550 of which are in Greece, 210 in Albania, 105 beneath the Adriatic and the last few kilometers in Italy.
When will the Southern Gas Corridor be completed?
The first gas deliveries are expected in 2018 to Turkey and 2019 to Europe.
What will Turkey’s energy portfolio look like as a result of this project?
Shah Deniz currently provides about 15 percent of Turkey’s gas demand, and this is likely to rise to a quarter of all demand in 2018.
Separately, TANAP will create 15,000 construction jobs in Turkey and solidify its role as a regional energy hub and a significant provider of European energy security.
Aside from access to new markets, how else does the Southern Gas Corridor benefit Azerbaijan?
Azerbaijan will be the beneficiary of new construction and vessel capabilities. Virtually all platform and subsea structures are being constructed in Azerbaijan. The size and complexity of Shah Deniz also requires an upgrade to existing vessels and the construction of a new subsea construction vessel to install facilities in deeper water. These new projects alone are expected to generate 10,000 local construction jobs in Azerbaijan.