Socar to Decide on Tanap Pipe Stakes This Year, May Bring in BP

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, or Socar, and its partners in the planned Trans-Anatolia Pipeline will decide their stakes in the project this year, establishing the hierarchy of companies that will build the link.

“It will definitely be signed before the end of this year,” Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Socar’s deputy vice president for marketing and investment, said today in Baku. The company, which shares the project with Turkish partners, has said it plans to bring BP Plc (BP/), Statoil ASA (STL) and Total SA (FP) into the venture.

Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an agreement in June to build the $7 billion Trans-Anatolia Pipeline, or Tanap, which will ship natural gas from the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea to Turkey’s European border. Construction will start by the end of next year and be completed in 2017, Socar said last week.

The Azeri company may reduce its 80 percent stake by bringing in BP, which is leading development of Shah Deniz, as well as Statoil and Total. Turkish state pipeline company Boru Hatlari Ile Petrol Tasima AS, or Botas, and energy producer Turkiye Petrolleri AO hold the remaining 20 percent.

At the Turkish border, Tanap will connect either with the proposed Nabucco line or the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to take gas into Europe. The BP-led group developing Shah Deniz is set to choose between the two links by May.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zulfugar Agayev in Baku at zagayev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at htromm@bloomberg.net

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