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The Shah Deniz consortium has chosen its favoured gas export route for the Caspian Sea project, on which a final investment decision will be made by mid-2013.
The second phase of Shah Deniz, in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian, will feature a subsea development in up to 550 m (1,805 ft) of water, tied back to two newbuild platforms in shallower water. The consortium is on target for first gas exports from stage two by the end of 2017, it said.
Shah Deniz stage two is expected to add a further 16 billion cu m (Bcm) per year of gas production to the approximately 9 Bcm per year stage one development.
Shah Deniz lies 70 km offshore and is expected to include two new bridge-linked production platforms; 26 subsea wells to be drilled with two semisubmersible rigs; 500 km of subsea pipelines built in up to 550 m of water; a 16 Bcm/year upgrade for the South Caucasus Pipeline; and expansion of the Sangachal terminal.
Further pipelines will be built and expanded to transport Shah Deniz gas through Turkey and Europe.
Consortium leader BP said the evaluation of potential gas export routes towards Southeast and Central Europe led to the selection of the Nabucco West project with a route running from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Baumgarten for the potential export of Shah Deniz stage two gas to Central Europe. In February this year the consortium also selected the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the potential route for export of stage two gas to Italy. Since that decision the Shah Deniz consortium has closely worked with TAP, recently concluding a co-operation agreement with this project.