President of DEPA Company: The difference of opinion on certain issues between DEPA and BOTAS does not affect the export of Azerbaijani gas - INTERVIEW

President of DEPA Company: The difference of opinion on certain issues between DEPA and BOTAS does not affect the export of Azerbaijani gas - <font color=red>INTERVIEW</font>
# 22 September 2011 13:09 (UTC +04:00)
- In what stage are the works on realization of ITGI project?

- One of the main achievements is that over the 8 months we have completed a detailed marine survey. This means that we now have detailed data about how the pipeline will be up to a meter. It is very important because it is another thing that shows just how advanced this project. And we actually have all the necessary approvals and licenses to start building the pipeline. And if there was a possibility for Azerbaijani gas to 10 billion cubic meters of transit through Turkey, we could begin construction of the pipeline right now.

- That is, the project is moving according to plan?

- Yes, of course. And at the moment it is the most advanced project. ITGI system consists of two projects, the first - a project to build interconnector in Bulgaria - IGB. And we’re trying to promote it. So, if you planned to implement it by 2014, we are trying to implement it earlier. And if the Azeri gas will be supplied and transported through Turkey, the project is likely to be implemented by the end of 2013 - beginning 2014. Thus, the Azerbaijani gas will be transported to Bulgaria and other countries in Southeast Europe. In addition, according to our road map, about 10 billion cubic meters, we can deliver to Italy, where resources are available, "Shah Deniz-2." Under this project, as I said above, we have finished the study of the seabed and the Adriatic Sea close to completing the design. It is important to balance between the possibilities of deliveries from the Caspian region to the needs of Europe. Now the need for resources in Europe is, and one of the main sources of supply to the 2017-2018 year will be "Shah Deniz". Another source of supply - "Absheron", and other probable gas reserves will only be available after the 2020-2022 period. There is uncertainty as to when and whether at all, the project of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. In this direction, efforts are being made, but the situation is still uncertain. To start with a project that will transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe, which is important for Azerbaijan itself, and for all. The volume of 10 billion cubic meters are ideally suited for systems ITGI. When will be available to more sources of supply - new fields in Azerbaijan, the gas from Turkmenistan, possibly from Iraq - if any conditions for the construction of more pipelines, such as what is Nabucco. Consortium "Shah Deniz" must now decide on what to do, how to dispose of 10 billion cubic meters of gas. With the development of new deposits of the same in 3-4 years it will be possible to take another decision on the large volumes of gas.

- Recently, DEPA and BOTAS are between a disagreement...

- DEPA and BOTAS have no problem, there is a difference of opinion on some questions about the price. DEPA and BOTAS are between a contract and it is no problem. We agree to pay the revised Botas gas price at an attractive price. But they asked about significant changes in prices of transit. And according to the contract, they have no right to do so. We will pay them $ 250 million. The arbitration will resolve the issue. We have a company BOTAS had very good relations, it’s just a difference of opinion, which will be quickly decided by arbitration make this little problem solution.

- Can a lawsuit between DEPA and BOTAS somehow affect the export of Azerbaijani gas, and negotiations on the transit between Azerbaijan and Turkey?

- No, no way. If someone says this is just an excuse. This is only a difference of opinion in one of the smaller items of the contract and if, BOTAS sees it differently, they may submit to arbitration. And we will solve this problem as two good business partner. But to say that this is somehow an effect on negotiations - is only a pretext.

- It is known that SOCAR has expressed interest to buy shares after the privatization of DEPA. When do you plan to begin the process of privatization of the company?

- We expect that the privatization process will begin in October.