Azeri oil fund to help finance TANAP gas pipeline
BAKU Nov 6 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan's $33-billion state oil fund is to help finance the $8 billion Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP) to take Azeri gas to Turkey and to markets in Europe, the head of the fund said on Tuesday.
Turkey has a 20 percent stake in TANAP, while Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR holds 80 percent. SOCAR offered BP , Statoil and Total to buy 29 percent of the total from its stake in September.
Construction of the TANAP pipeline, which will be built from the Turkish-Georgian border to Turkey's border with Europe, is expected to start at the end of 2013 and the project's first phase is seen ready at the end of 2017 or early 2018.
TANAP is set to take some 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field to Europe, while Turkey, which aims to cut its dependence on Russian gas, will get 6 bcm. The project is designed to be expandable to 30 bcm and ultimately 60 bcm a year.
The head of Azerbaijan's state oil fund Shakhmar Movsumov said it also planned to co-finance several other major energy projects in the oil-rich country next year, including construction of a new oil refinery, a gas liquefaction plant and a chemical plant.
"The state oil fund will start financing the TANAP project in 2013. Besides that, it will participate in financing of an oil-gas-chemical complex construction project," Movsumov said in parliament during a discussion of the state budget draft for the next year.
The state oil fund holds proceeds from oil contracts, oil and gas sales, transit fees and other revenues. It has been used to finance social spending and infrastructure projects.
Movsumov did not specify how much money the fund planned to invest into projects though the preliminary total cost of TANAP was estimated at $20 billion.
The oil fund's 2012 revenue till Oct. 1 was 10.1 billion manats (12.6 billion), while its spending was 7.5 billion manats.
Movsumov said on Tuesday the fund's total spending next year would reach 13.6 billion manats, while its revenues were set to be 11.8 billion manats.
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