Shah Deniz eyes option for 50% TAP stake

Azeri aim: Socar boss says TAP stake to come by year's end

Azerbaijan’s Socar has said it and its partners in the Shah Deniz II consortium aim to take up their option for a 50% stake in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline by the end of the year.

Socar president Rovnaq Abdullayev told reporters in Baku that he envisaged  the state explorer and Shah Deniz II operator BP each owning a fifth of the pipeline.

"Now, after the selection of TAP, we would like to become the main participants of this project. Socar, BP and Total will receive a total of 50% stake out of which BP will have 20%, Socar 20%, Total 10%," he said.

Abdullayev said that a shareholder agreement to confirm this would be signed by the end of the year, along with a sales and purchase agreement on natural gas with various buyers from Europe, chiefly Greece, Italy, Albania and Bulgaria.

British oil major BP leads the consortium operating Shah Deniz II that also includes Lukoil, Total and Statoil, as well as Socar, Turkiye Petrolleri and Naftiran Intertrade.

TAP’s current shareholders include Axpo of Switzerland and Norway’s Statoil on 42.5% each and E.ON of Germany.

Last month, the Shah Deniz II consortium chose the TAP pipeline over the Nabucco West project to deliver its Caspian Sea gas to south and central Europe.

The selection in the closely-fought, initially four-way race was first revealed by Nabucco West's OMV and later confirmed by BP.

The explorers behind the Azeri supergiant field had inked options with both pipeline consortia last summer for a 50% ownership stake in the event of their route being chosen.

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