Ankara ‘eyes Statoil stake’ in TAP

17 August 2015, News Wires – The Turkish government is reported to be interested in buying Statoil’s 20% interest in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project after the Norwegian state-owned player recently signalled its intention to exit the scheme to deliver gas from Azerbaijan to Europe.

StatoilA source told Baku-based news agency Trend the Ankara government is angling to acquire the stake as it sees it as an “historic opportunity that it does not intend to lose”.

Statoil could rake in around €400 million ($444.5 million) from such a sale, based on an estimate of the value of the stake reported by Reuters, having earlier disposed of its interests in the Shah Deniz gas field off Azerbaijan and South Caucasus pipeline.

The 870-kilometre TAP route is due to transport 16 billion cubic metres of gas per annum from the Shah Deniz 2 field in the Caspian Sea to Europe by the end of the decade, with construction on the pipeline due to start in summer 2016.

The project will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, and then cross Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before reaching southern Italy.

TAP’s shareholders are BP, Statoil and Socar, all on 20%, Fluxys with 19%, Enagas on 16% and Axpo with 5%.

Azerbaijan state-owned Socar’s president Rovnag Abdullayev told an Azeri TV channel last month that Statoil had decided to leave the project immediately and that a buyer for its stake was already lined up.

However, Statoil does not comment on possible changes in its portfolio as a matter of corporate policy.

– Upstream

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