* BP, Statoil to get 12 pct each, Total 5 pct
* Discussions expected to be completed in a few weeks
BAKU Nov 7 BP, Statoil and
Total have agreed to acquire a combined 29 percent in
the Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP),
designed to reduce Europe's reliance on Russian gas, Azeri state
energy company SOCAR said.
BP and Statoil each will have a 12 percent stake, and Total
will get 5 percent, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said on
A spokeswoman for BP-Azerbaijan said the company expected
completion of discussions in a few weeks over participation in
the TANAP pipeline project, which would take Azeri gas to Turkey
and to other markets in Europe.
"BP is working with other participants of the project in
order to speed up technical and commercial aspects of its
implementation," spokeswoman Tamam Bayatly said. She did not
reveal any financial details.
The European Commission aims to bring in large volumes of
Central Asian gas through a so-called Southern Corridor pipeline
as it tries to reduce dependence on Russian gas and avoid supply
disruptions caused by disputes between Russia and Ukraine.
Construction of the TANAP pipeline from the Turkish-Georgian
border to Turkey's border with Europe is expected to start at
the end of 2013, and the project's first phase to be ready at
the end of 2017 or early 2018.
Turkey has a 20 percent stake in TANAP, while SOCAR holds 80
percent. SOCAR offered in September to sell BP, Statoil and
Total 29 percent of the total, taken out of its stake.
Azerbaijan's $33 billion state oil fund said on Tuesday it
would help finance the TANAP project starting from 2013 but did
not specify the amount of money it might invest.
The preliminary total cost of TANAP has been estimated at