Giant agreement with Azerbaijan on natural gas
Turkey yesterday signed a deal with Azerbaijan to build the $7 billion Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline (TANAP) to carry Azeri gas to European markets. Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and his Azeri counterpart Natiq Aliyev put their signatures on the agreement. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also signed the deal at a ceremony held in Istanbul.
The project set to be completed in six years will pipe 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field. Representatives from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), the Turkish state-owned pipeline and Gas Company BOTAS and the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) were also present during the ceremony. Held at the Turkish Prime Ministry, the signing ceremony was also attended by Aliyev and Yildiz. "Today we have taken a historic step," said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his speech yesterday at the signing ceremony. "Today's signing is the most important step in completing the legal framework for this project," Erdogan said. "This project will not only deepen ties between our countries, but also create an organic tie between Azerbaijan and Europe via Turkey." The project will establish an "organic bond" between Azerbaijan and Europe, he added. "What makes these projects a reality is the fraternity and friendship relations between the two countries," Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said. With yesterday's signing of the accord by Erdogan and Aliyev in Istanbul, the seven billion-dollar (5.6 billion-euro) project took a step closer to becoming a reality in the next six years.
June 27, 2012