TBILISI, April 10 A consortium led by British
oil company BP has awarded construction and supply
contract worth $750 million to help to develop the Shah Deniz II
gas field in Azerbaijan, a project that offers Europe a chance
to cut reliance on Russian gas.
Azerbaijan's biggest gas field, Shah Deniz is being
developed by consortium partners BP, Statoil, Azeri
state energy company SOCAR and others.
Shah Deniz I has been pumping gas since 2006 and has an
annual production capacity of about 10 bcm of natural gas.
The next phase, Shah Deniz II, is important for Europe in
terms of providing an alternative gas supply to Russia's Gazprom
. Shah Deniz II is expected to produce 16 bcm of gas
per year from around 2019, with 10 bcm earmarked for Europe and
6 bcm for Turkey.
Gazprom currently covers a quarter of Europe's gas needs,
with more than 150 bcm of exports a year. Alternative supplies
have come under the spotlight in the light of the tense
situation in Ukraine, as 40 percent of gas imported to Europe
from Russia is pumped across that country.
The latest contract, awarded to the consortium consisting of
BOS Shelf LLC, Saipem Contracting Netherlands B.V. and Star Gulf
FZCO, is for the construction of subsea structures that will be
used for the first time in the Caspian Sea.
"The use of this technology in Azerbaijan will open up new
opportunities for oil and gas developments," Gordon Birrell,
BP's president for the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey region said in
a statement. Works are expected to complete in 2017.
The Shah Deniz consortium signed a $974 million contract in
December with a consortium including Turkish construction firm
Tekfen Insaat to build two offshore platforms for the
It also awarded construction and engineering contracts worth
$841 million and a contract for the supply of the subsea
production systems worth $394 million earlier this year.
(Reporting by Margarita Antidze and Nailia Bagirova; Editing by