BP-Led Group Starts Weighing Nabucco, TAP Plans for EU Gas Link

A BP Plc-led group developing Azerbaijan’s biggest natural gas project is starting its final evaluation of two pipeline proposals vying for the right to export the fuel to Europe from the Caspian Sea.

The group will choose between the OMV AG-led Nabucco West link and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, or TAP, developed by Statoil ASA, EON Ruhrgas and EGL AG, by the end of June, the BP office in Baku, the Azeri capital, said today by e-mail.

The transportation proposals are expected to become legally binding by end of April, the U.K. oil and gas producer said. They include “substantial” information about the technical, regulatory, and financial aspects of the Nabucco West and TAP projects, according to the statement.

The partners in the Shah Deniz gas deposit, which also include Statoil, Total SA and State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, or Socar, expect to receive binding bids from potential gas customers in Europe within the next month, it said.

The $25 billion project to develop phase two of the Shah Deniz deposit in the Caspian Sea will start production in 2018 and in 2019 the first gas will be exported to Turkey’s border with the European Union through the planned Trans-Anatolia pipeline, or Tanap, BP Vice President for Shah Deniz Al Cook said in January.

The Shah Deniz deposit, estimated to contain 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas, will deliver 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe a year, he said.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.