Turkey, Azerbaijan sign gas pipeline deal

June 26, 2012 - 12:26 PM
Turkey Syria Plane

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the lawmakers of his Justice and Development Party at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. " Any Syrian military element that approaches Turkish border will be regarded as threat " Erdogan said four days after a Turkish warplane was shot down by Syria.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey and Azerbaijan have signed an agreement to build a pipeline to transport Azeri gas to Europe through Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after the signing ceremony Tuesday that the project is key for Europe to diversify energy supply routes.

The Trans Anadolu pipeline deal is expected to help reduce the European Union's reliance on Russian deliveries in particular.

The pipeline will have a carrying capacity of 16 billion cubic meters (565 billion cubic feet) per year. Erdogan says Turkey will have access to up to 10 billlion cubic meters (353 billion cubic feet).

A consortium for an EU-backed project, Nabucco, in May proposed to carry the Azeri gas from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria. The project was originally designed to bring gas from Azerbaijan directly.