Turkey to bridge the Dardanelles in new mega project

Updated 21 November 2014
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Turkey to bridge the Dardanelles in new mega project

ISTANBUL: Turkey is planning to build a bridge across the famed Dardanelles strait to help ease traffic congestion in Istanbul, a minister said, revealing the latest in a string of mega projects under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The straits, which separate Europe and Asia, were last bridged by Xerxes the Great, the Persian “king of kings” in 480 BC on his way to defeat the Greeks at Thermopylae.
“We are planning to construct a new bridge across the Dardanelles strait,” Transport Minister Lutfi Elvan said in an interview with Turkish television.
The Dardanelles lead into the Sea of Marmara which then goes into the Bosphorus in Istanbul itself. The waterway is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and is 1.2 km wide at its narrowest point.
So far the Dardanelles strait can only be crossed by ferry.
“We will turn the entire Marmara region into a ring road, so this ring system will ease the Istanbul traffic to a great extent,” Elvan added.
The Dardanelles, which played a key role in the great sea battles of ancient history, were also the site of one of the most famous battles of World War I when Ottoman troops resisted an invading Allied force.
It was also where the founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal, the man who would later become known as Ataturk, made his name as a heroic military leader.
Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government is under fire for its ambitious construction projects for the mega city of 16 million, which critics have condemned as wildly excessive and damaging to the environment.
The projects include a massive new Istanbul airport, a third road bridge across the Bosphorus, and a canal parallel to the waterway to ease the permanent bottleneck of tankers and freighters waiting to pass through it.
Erdogan has said the projects are needed to create a fast-developing and prosperous “new Turkey” that will be one of the world’s top 10 economies by 2023.
The building industry has boomed in recent years but while Erdogan was prime minister, his government was shaken by a now-stalled corruption probe into allegations of high-level bribery linked to some construction projects.
Elvan vowed that the government would move ahead with mega projects, saying the government was planning a 17 billion Turkish lira ($7.6 billion/6 billion euros) investment in Istanbul.
Among the new projects is a direct metro line from Kadikoy to the Sabiha Gokcen airport on the Asian side of Istanbul, he added.
Last year amid great fanfare the government opened the first ever undersea metro link beneath the Bosphorus connecting the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.
This year it opened the first high-speed train link between Istanbul and Ankara.


Adnoc signs deal with Eni on Ghasha concession

Updated 13 November 2018
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Adnoc signs deal with Eni on Ghasha concession

  • ADNOC grants Eni 25 percent stake in ultra sour gas project
  • Follows Adnoc award to France's Total

LONDON: The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has granted the Italian oil company Eni a 25 percent stake in an off-shore gas mega-project, in a move that will support the emirate’s efforts to become self-sufficient in gas.
The energy company is now in discussions with other potential partners for the remaining 15 percent of the available 40 percent stake in the concession earmarked for foreign companies.
The award covers the Ghasha ultra-sour gas concession just off the coast of the UAE, including the Hail and Dalma and other offshore fields. Eni will contribute 25 percent of the development cost of the project which is likely to cost billions of dollars.
The deal comes just days after ADNOC awarded a 40 percent stake to French oil firm Total on Nov. 11 to explore and develop its Ruwais Diyab unconventional gas concession.
The Ghasha gas fields are estimated to hold trillions of standard cubic feet of recoverable gas, according to a company statement.
Once on stream, the project is expected to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day. This could provide enough gas to supply electricity to more than 2 million homes, said ADNOC.
The project is set to produce 120,000 barrels of oil and high-value condensate per day once complete, the company said.
“ADNOC is committed to ensuring a stable and economic gas supply to the UAE, which is a core component of our 2030 strategy,” said Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, UAE minister of state and ADNOC group CEO.
“Development of our Hail, Ghasha and Dalma ultra-sour gas offshore resources, at commercial rates, will make a significant contribution towards delivering that strategic imperative and bringing forward the day when the UAE will not only be self-sufficient in gas but also transitions to net exporter of gas,” he said.
Eni won its first concession rights in the emirate’s oil and gas sector earlier this year, with Adnoc granting the Italian firm a 10 percent interest in its Umm Shaif and Nasr concession and a 5 percent stake in the Lower Zakum concession in March.
“We are pursuing a strategy of growing in the Middle East and today’s signature is further confirmation of our willingness to root our presence in Abu Dhabi,
following the agreements signed last March, with Adnoc,” said Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi, in a statement.
ADNOC is exploring opportunities beyond Abu Dhabi, having also signed a framework agreement with the Uzbek energy company, Uzbekneftegaz on Tuesday.
The agreement will see the Gulf company provide advice on Uzbekistan’s upstream and downstream operations.