Azerbaijan can get direct access to many countries in South-Eastern Europe through TAP

Oil&Gas Materials 26 July 2011 19:10 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 26 / Trend A.Badalova /

Connection of the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP), a major regional natural gas project, to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline system will provide the direct delivery of the Azerbaijani gas to many countries in Southeast Europe, TAP Spokesman Lisa Givert told Trend. This will help create a regional energy market.

TAP and the government of Albania have recently signed in Tirana a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation (MOUC) with a focus on exploring possibilities for connecting the IAP to the TAP system at a tie-in point near Fier in Albania.

"Through connecting with other pipeline systems, the TAP will be able to supply gas to major markets in South-Eastern Europe, including Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania and Hungary. The connection with the alleged IAP will allow to transport natural gas directly into many of these countries," Givert said.

She said customers and suppliers will have an opportunity to promote the development of the gas market in South-Eastern Europe.

"In theory, sellers of gas from the Shah-Deniz field and TAP shareholders can provide 1-2 billion cubic meters of gas to markets in Albania and South-Eastern Europe. It will promote economic growth in the country and give impetus to the creation of regional energy market in the future," Givert said.

Gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz-2 project is regarded as the main source for the TAP project. The Shah Deniz field's overall reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.

The Shah Deniz consortium expects to receive from various pipeline projects, including the TAP, specific proposals by Oct.1, 2011. The gas transportation route will be selected by late 2011.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project. The pipeline will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into western Europe. The project is aimed at enhancing security of supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets. TAP will open a new so-called Southern Gas Corridor to Europe and establish a new market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian Sea.

The project is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year. TAP also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 per cent and the option to develop natural gas storage facilities in Albania to further ensure security of supply during any operational interruption of gas deliveries.

TAP's shareholders are EGL of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway's Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).

Earlier this year TAP signed similar agreements with other IAP participants, including Croatian gas system operator Plinacro Ltd, Bosnian gas system operator BH-Gas and the government of Montenegro.

By having signed agreements with all four participants of the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline, TAP consolidates the framework necessary for the further development of the TAP and IAP's interconnection. Next steps will include alignment of the projects' schedules and technical specifications of the pipelines.