The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, Britain’s oil and gas company BP and France’s Total will get a 50 percent stake in the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev told reporters on Wednesday. “We want to become major shareholders in the project. SOCAR, BP and Total are expected to get a 50 percent stake - SOCAR and BP will acquire a 20 percent stake each and the French company - 10 percent,” Abdullayev said. A shareholders’ agreement with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline consortium will be signed until the end of the year. The SOCAR president said within the similar timeframe a gas sale and purchase contract with Europe’s customers will be signed. Among main customers of Azerbaijan’s gas that will be pumped through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline are Greece, Italy and Bulgaria. On June 28 Baku officially announced it chose the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline as a route to supply Azerbaijani gas to Europe. This gas will be produced within the framework of the second stage of development of the Shakh Deniz offshore gas field in the Caspian Sea with estimated reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline will stretch 478 kilometers through the territory of Greece from Komotini (northeastern Greece) across Albania (209 kilomteres) and the Adriatic Sea bed (105 kilometers) to Brindisi in southern Italy. The pipeline’s construction will start in late 2014-early 2015 and will be completed in 2018. The first gas supplies are scheduled for early 2019. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline’s initial annual throughput is 10 billion cubic meters, which may grow to 20 billion cubic meters with the construction of compressor stations in Greece and Albania. Investments into the project will total $40 billion. The pipeline’s current shareholders are Switzerland’s AXPO with a 42.5 percent stake, Norway’s Statoil with a 42.5 percent stake and Germany’s E.ON Ruhrgas with a 15 percent stake. Within the framework of the second stage of the Shakh Deniz oil development project Azerbaijan plans to produce 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year.