Project representative: Enough gas reserves available for filling TAP
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 12 / Trend A. Badalova /
TAP is the most viable and commercially feasible pipeline option in the Southern Gas Corridor, Communications and External Affairs Director, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Michael Hoffmann, said.
"TAP provides the shortest link (at only 520km in length) and is the most cost-efficient route to evacuate gas from Azerbaijan, he told Trend via e-mail.
Many experts agree that, TAP is the only project that is able to meet the needs of the producers, shippers and buyers, thereby making it the most viable option in the Southern Gas Corridor.
There is only enough gas to fill a pipeline with an initial capacity of around 10 bcm from SDII, he said.
"Furthermore, the pipeline is designed with an initial capacity of 10bcm, which is approximately the quantity of gas being delivered by Shah Deniz II (SDII) at the Turkish-Greek border," he said.
However, the TAP pipeline has the built-in flexibility to expand to 20bcm as more gas comes on stream in the future, he said.
Azerbaijani developed field Shah Deniz is one of the largest in the world. At the present first stage of this project, gas is exported from the field to Georgia and Turkey. Azerbaijan also buys gas. Gas is exported via the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP).
Gas from the second phase of Shah Deniz, implementation of which is scheduled for 2016-2017, will form the basis for filling of other pipelines in the Southern Corridor - Nabucco, ITGI and White Stream. The negotiations on export of gas from Shah Deniz-2 between SOCAR and European shareholders of these pipelines, particularly the TAP, depend on the investment decision on one of these projects.
Trans-Adriatic pipeline, which is a part of the Southern Corridor, is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to Europe. The pipeline will begin in Greece, will pass through the territory of Albania and the Adriatic Sea, later to Italy.
The gas pipeline includes a 115-kilometer-underwater section from Albania to Italy. Estimated cost of the project pipeline will be $2.2 billion. The shareholders of the project are Norway's Statoil and Swiss EGL.
TAP is continually advancing the project. It is currently in the Front-End Engineering Design stage. In the last 6 weeks, TAP has held over 23 meetings with various ministers and ministries in all the host countries (Italy, Albania and Greece), as well as in Brussels. In addition, TAP has been talking to the Italian authorities in Brindisi to further fine-tune its routing in the area, he said.
TAP hopes to begin to carry out studies on routing options on the ground in Greece in the second half of this year, he said.
In March, the company dealing with TAP Project Management made an application to the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy to connect a future pipeline to the national gas network in the country. After the application is approved by the Ministry of Economic Development, the future pipeline will be connected to the Italian gas network through the 15-km overland pipeline from Brindisi to Mesane.