Project updates

Introducing the Southern Corridor project to students at Harvard University

BP and SOCAR representatives gave a public lecture on the Southern Gas Corridor project at the Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government during a joint visit to the US between 4 and 6 March, 2014. Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Deputy Vice President of SOCAR for Marketing and Strategy and Al Cook, BP Vice President for Shah Deniz Development were joined by Meghan O’Sullivan, Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University's Kennedy School and Brenda Shaffer, Visiting Professor Georgetown University in the discussion about the project. The speakers described the evolution of the Southern Corridor from a European energy security perspective discussing the challenges of the transportation route selection and project execution plans. Some of the academic lessons drawn from this giant energy project and its impact on geopolitics were also shared with students and the members of the Kennedy School faculty.

Prior to visiting Harvard University, SOCAR and BP presented Shah Deniz and the Southern Corridor at ‘CERAWeek’ in Houston, one of energy industry’s preeminent gathering of business leaders and government officials, and at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a non-profit organisation headquartered in Washington, D.C which brings together a large number of scholars who research, analyse and develop public policy initiatives. In his presentation, Vitaliy Baylarbayov emphasised the project’s importance for European energy security and its role as a “catalyst for interconnectors in Southern Europe”. Al Cook spoke on a panel focused on ‘Mega Projects’ and outlined BP’s plans for executing the construction of the project. “The real key on why we can have confidence as we embark on a project like this is our track record in Azerbaijan spanning back 20 years," he said. "It demonstrates that we can develop oil and gas fields that provide reliable sources of energy for the countries and the companies that depend upon them."

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March 2014. Al Cook, Vice President, Shah Deniz development speaks at IHS CERAWeek 2014. Video courtesy of IHS CERAWeek 2014.

Southern Corridor presentation at the conference on investing in the Western Balkans

27 February 2014

BP’s Vice-President for Shah Deniz development, Al Cook delivered a speech to an unprecedented gathering of Balkan leaders and investors at the conference hosted in London by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Cook described the Southern Gas Corridor as a monumental project. In his summing up Cook said the Southern Corridor “will create a legacy of agreement and understanding between host governments, energy companies and gas purchasers which will encourage the development of even greater volumes of gas from Azerbaijan and other countries.”

Speaking alongside energy ministers and leaders from Albania, Montenegro, the EBRD and the Energy Community in a session on energy diversity and security, Cook said that the Shah Deniz 2 project was mobilising at full pace and that the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline will get underway this year. 

Read the full speech 

Trans Adriatic Pipeline as the gas transportation route to Europe.

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January 2014: Kjetil Tungland, TAP’s Managing Director, explains the significance of TAP’s selection as the gas transportation route to Europe and TAP’s future plans. Video courtesy of TAP.

Shah Deniz awarded for outstanding industry contribution

13 November 2013

The European Autumn Gas Conference (EAGC) has awarded the Shah Deniz project for Outstanding Industry Contribution made by an Organization. The EAGC Executive Advisory Board awarded the project that they felt has significantly changed the face of the gas market in Europe and made a substantial contribution to the energy industry over a number of years.

The award was received by three representatives of the project consortium – John Baldwin (Vice President Southern Corridor, BP), Anders Marvik (Vice President EU Affairs, Statoil) and Francois-Regis Mouton (Delegate for European Affairs E&P, Total). 

The European Autumn Gas Conference is one of Europe’s leading annual events that brings the gas industry leaders together to address the critical issues driving the European gas industry today.

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September 2013: John Baldwin, BP’s Southern Corridor vice president gives an overview of progress made by the project.

Caspian Forum took place in New York

25 september 2013

Foreign Ministers and business leaders gathered on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 25 September to discuss the development of the Southern Gas Corridor. The Caspian Forum brought over 400 politicians, energy specialists, academicians, journalists and business leaders for a debate on how companies and countries can work together to support this project. 
In his remarks, Al Cook, BP Vice President for Shah Deniz Development, drew his attention on three centuries of history to underline the role that Azerbaijan can play in supporting European energy security. ‘In the 19th century, Europe benefited from Azerbaijan’s kerosene. In the 20th century, Azerbaijan brought its crude oil to world markets and now Azerbaijan plans to bring its natural gas through the Southern Corridor.’ 

Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, underlined the international importance Azerbaijan’s world-class project - the Shah Deniz 2 project , as well as the vital TANAP and TAP pipeline projects. He pointed to their strategic importance and to their unprecedented scale. Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu stated that Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Southern Gas Corridor projects could support peace and energy independence from the Caucasus to the Balkans, linking continents. 


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Al Cook, vice president, Shah Deniz development speaks at the Caspian Forum. Video © Caspian Forum – 2013.

Organised by the Caspian Strategy Institute, the Caspian Forum is a platform that explores the economic, political, and strategic potential of the Caspian region.

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August 2013: Neil Dunn, BP Georgia country vice president talks about BP’s contribution to Georgia’s social-economic development and status of SCP expansion.

BP joins the TAP project

30 July 2013

BP exercised its option to join the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), a project that was recently selected by the Shah Deniz consortium to carry natural gas from the Shah Deniz field to Europe. TAP’s shareholding now comprise of BP 20%, SOCAR 20%, Statoil 20%, Fluxys 16%, Total 10%, EON 9% and Axpo 5%. The TAP pipeline will run from Turkey’s western border through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy. Certain Shah Deniz partners, including BP, aim to be participants in each section of pipeline transporting gas from Azerbaijan to Europe. That includes the South Caucasus Pipeline, TANAP and TAP pipeline. 

Harnessing technology to develop Shah Deniz

6 June 2013

At the 20th Caspian International Oil and Gas Conference held in Baku, Al Cook, Vice President Shah Deniz Development, gave an overview of engineering solutions underpinning development of the giant Shah Deniz field. The presentation demonstrated examples of advanced technologies that will be deployed on Shah Deniz Stage 2. These technologies support addressing the technical challenges of the project and future development of Azerbaijan’s natural gas resources. The Caspian International Oil and Gas Conference is one of the largest oil and gas events taking place annually in Azerbaijan. 

Read the full speech delivered by Al Cook.

TANAP Technical Cooperation Agreement

June 2013

The Shah Deniz consortium has agreed a Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP). The agreement sets out the framework for collaborative work between the Shah Deniz consortium and TANAP on the project scope, schedule and other technical components of the pipeline. In addition, the agreement provides for the establishment of a joint technical committee between the parties. 

It is an important milestone, strengthening collaboration between the technical teams which will be critical to the successful implementation of the TANAP project. 


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May 2013: Bud Fackrell, BP Turkey country president gives an overview of Turkey’s growing demand for energy and plans for TANAP pipeline.

Governments of Greece, Italy and Albania sign an intergovernmental agreement for TAP

13 February 2013

The governments of Greece, Italy and Albania signed an intergovernmental agreement for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). On 13 February, the intergovernmental agreement demonstrates the support for the TAP pipeline project and recognises the strategic significance of the project for all three countries. The agreement reinforces political support for the project in much the same way that the existing Nabucco intergovernmental agreement underpins the Nabucco West pipeline. The intergovernmental agreement will enter into force as soon as it is ratified by the respective parliaments. 

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April 2013: Andy Lane, head of Business Development, Integrated Supply and Trading, talks about importance of Shah Deniz for energy security in Europe.

Equity option and cooperation agreements with Nabucco West

18 January 2013

BP, SOCAR, Statoil and Total signed an equity option and funding agreement with Nabucco shareholders. This is consistent with the agreement concluded last year with Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), another contender for the European transit of Shah Deniz gas.

The equity option agreement allows these four companies to exercise an option to take 50% equity in Nabucco West project should the Shah Deniz consortium decide in favour of Nabucco West for transit of Shah Deniz Stage 2 gas to Europe. The agreement also sets out the joint funding of the development costs of the Nabucco West pipeline until the decision on preferred transportation route is made in mid-2013. 

Separately the Shah Deniz consortium and Nabucco West also signed a cooperation agreement to ensure alignment of these two pipeline projects. 

The focus now shifts to the final European route selection process which will involve a full evaluation of TAP and Nabucco West projects over the coming months with a final decision expected by the Shah Deniz consortium in June 2013. 

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March 2013. Al Cook, vice president, Shah Deniz development sets out plans for Southern Corridor.

Shah Deniz Stage 2 shortlisted for Project of the Year Award

16 January

Shah Deniz Stage 2 has been shortlisted as 2012 Project of the Year by the European Gas Conference, in recognition of the importance of this $40bn project in opening up the Southern Corridor from the Caspian Sea to Europe. 2012 was an important year for Shah Deniz Stage 2, with the commencement of Front End Engineering Design (FEED), the development of the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) project across Turkey and the finalisation of export options to Europe. Al Cook, BP’s Vice President for Shah Deniz development, will address the European Gas Conference on 31 January. 

Shah Deniz and TAP conclude equity option and funding agreement

1 August 2012

On 1 August 2012, BP, SOCAR and Total signed agreement with TAP shareholders to provide short term funding in order to support the project development activities until the final pipeline selection decision on the Shah Deniz Stage 2 export route is made in mid-2013. 

The Funding Agreement includes an option for the three Shah Deniz shareholders to take a 50% equity stake in TAP. 

Separately the Shah Deniz consortium and TAP also signed a cooperation agreement to ensure alignment of the two European pipeline projects. 

Some of the Shah Deniz partners, including BP, aim to be participants in each section of the pipeline system to transport gas to Europe. That includes the South Caucasus Pipeline, TANAP and the pipeline option that will be finally chosen to carry gas to Europe – either TAP or Nabucco West. 

Energy and Economic Summit 2012

15 November 2012

Al Cook, Vice President Shah Deniz Development represented BP at the fourth annual Energy and Economic Summit which took place on 15th November in Istanbul, Turkey.

In a panel discussion dedicated to Shah Deniz and the Southern Corridor, Al Cook presented BP’s views on natural gas in Europe and the role of the Caspian Region as a source of sustainable and affordable energy. He gave an overview of the Shah Deniz project including the on-going offshore appraisal activities, expansion of the Sangachal terminal and the progress on transit negotiations. Mr Cook also discussed BP’s role in developing long-term solutions for the Southern Corridor.