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Socar Says BP-Led Caspian Project to Export Gas to EU From 2019

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The BP Plc-led Shah Deniz Phase Two natural-gas project in Azerbaijan’s section of the Caspian Sea will start production in 2018 and deliver the fuel to the European Union in 2019, the state energy company said.

Partners in the project that also include State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan will make the final investment decision in October, Elshad Nasirov, vice-president of the Baku-based producer known as Socar, said today in the Azeri capital.

London-based BP spokesman Toby Odone confirmed that they’re trying to have the first gas in 2018.

EU nations are seeking to diversify their sources of gas to curb dependence on Russian deliveries, which have been disrupted several times en route through Ukraine. Gas from Shah Deniz, will travel from Baku via the BP-led South Caucasus Pipeline to Turkey’s border, where it will link up with the proposed Trans-Anatolia Pipeline, or Tanap, for shipment to Europe.

Nasirov said Socar will spend $40 million to $45 million to help develop the Nabucco West and TAP projects to take the fuel to the EU from the Turkish border. Partners will choose between the two in June, he said.

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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