TBILISI May 1 BP plans to complete by
mid-2018 the Georgian section of a $40-billion strategic
pipeline bringing Caspian gas from Azerbaijan into Europe, the
British energy company's country manager for Georgia said.
The so-called southern gas corridor, which is meant to
reduce the European Union's dependence on Russian energy, will
start at Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II gas field and cross through
Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy. It is the largest
attempt so far to bring new supply sources to Europe.
Around 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year of Azeri gas
should reach Europe by 2020 through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline,
with another 6 bcm destined for Georgia through the South
Caucasus Pipeline and Turkey through the Trans-Anatolian
"All of the project's components are ... on schedule as far
as their intended delivery day for when commercial operations
are due to begin in the middle to the later part of the next
year," Chris Schlueter told Reuters, referring to the Georgian
The Georgian part of the project includes the construction
of two compressor stations, a 65-km pipeline and a metering
station near the Turkish border.
Schlueter said work on the pipeline had finished, with one
compressor station 95 percent ready and the other compressor
station 55 percent complete. Construction of the metering
station was under way, he said, without giving specifics.
"Later this year we'll start to introduce the gas to the
pipeline in order to get it ready for operations," he said.
Schlueter said the project's capital expenditure in 2016 was
$550 million. In the first quarter of this year the figure was
around $100 million, slightly less than in the same quarter of
"Peak spending was last year and we will start to slow down
(in terms of investment) this year," he said.
Schlueter said peak production from the Shah Deniz II field
was expected to occur several years after 2020.
(Editing by Dale Hudson)