Seven countries, 11 companies, as many gas sales agreements, more than $40 billion of investment and upwards of 30,000 people employed during its busiest phase of activity: the Southern Gas Corridor is one of the global oil and gas industry’s most significant – and ambitious – undertakings yet. It is also one of the largest projects in BP’s portfolio – and of strategic importance in the business’s shift towards gas.
The Southern Gas Corridor comprises a series of mega-projects that, together, will bring gas from the Caspian Sea to the heart of Europe for the first time, through some 3,500 kilometres of pipelines.
Once complete, the Southern Gas Corridor will deliver around 16 billion cubic metres of gas per year (bcma), with 6 bcma destined for Turkish markets and the balance to various European gas buyers. First gas is set to arrive in Turkey in 2018, and onwards to Europe in 2020.
When Shah Deniz reaches its peak production it will provide enough new natural gas to meet the needs of every capital city along the Southern Corridor – more than twice over.
Along with other European countries that experienced a cold snap in January 2017, Turkey has faced gas shortages during mid-winter peak demand periods.
“For Turkey, the extra volumes of gas it will receive from the Shah Deniz full field development, in addition to the 6.6 billion cubic metres per year that the country receives from the first phase now, will cement the country’s position as the number one importer of Azerbaijani gas,” Stump says.
“This supply is necessary to keep people warm, keep the lights on and keep industry – and the economy – moving.”
Turkey's growth rate per annum in primary energy consumption from 2005 to 2015 stood at 4.4%, the fastest in Europe.
“Turkey is a strategic partner for us in both the Shah Deniz project and the Southern Gas Corridor,” Stump continues. “The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (or TANAP) is a critical component in the value chain. Geographically, it sits in the centre of the giant project, with 1,850 kilometres of the 3,500 km corridor running through the country.”
On completion, TANAP will be a buried pipeline. Construction teams prepare the Right of Way, dig a trench, the pipeline is laid in hundreds of pieces alongside the trench, welded in that location and then placed into position on soft backfill material. The remainder of the trench around the pipeline is filled to the surface with graded earth. The final activity is environmental restoration of the area along the length of the pipeline.
“After many years of planning, TANAP is no longer a concept, but a reality. The goal is for the pipeline section to Eskişehir to be complete and ready for initial line fill by the end of 2017,” says Stump.
“It’s a challenging schedule but we continue to be impressed by the determination of the operator TANAP and their contractors to deliver this complex project safely, on schedule and under budget. Our focus is on safe delivery, with the safety of our staff, contractors and the public as our number one priority.
“With the continued support of our partners, the Turkish government and the international community, we believe that TANAP will deliver a new source of gas into Turkey in 2018 and, on completion of TAP, onwards to Europe in subsequent years.”