TAP open for shareholders in Shah Deniz consortium

TAP open for shareholders in Shah Deniz consortium

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 19 /Trend A.Badalova/

Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project is open to shareholders in consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development, Managing Director of Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG, Kjetil Tungland told to leading European think-tank Friends of Europe in an interview.

"We continue to remain open to other potential shareholders in Shah Deniz consortium including SOCAR, BP, and Total," Tungland said.

The Trans Adriatic 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. The total length of the pipeline is about 800 kilometers. TAP's shareholders are EGL of Switzerland (42.5 percent), Norway's Statoil (42.5 percent) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15 percent).

Gas which will be produced during the second stage of Shah Deniz filed development is considered as the main source for TAP project. Within the Shah Deniz-2 project Azerbaijan plans to export 10 billion cubic meters per year to Europe.

Tungland said this is the only available volumes of gas in the Caspian for export to Europe.

"Any pipeline that aims to open the Southern Gas Corridor in a cost-effective manner needs to be aligned with these volumes of gas," he said.

However, he noted that it is likely that more gas will be available in the region post-2017.

"This is why scalability is such an important criterion for the Shah Deniz consortium. TAP is the only pipeline which will be able to double its capacity from 10bcm to 20bcm as more gas volumes become available," Tungland said.

With regard to the possibility of merging the different pipeline projects within the Southern gas Corridor, Tungland said that TAP has always been open for new partners to join. It especially would welcome an Italian or Greek partner that could contribute to the further successful development of our project.

At the moment, however, Tungland believes that mergers are not likely to take place.

"All competing projects have made their proposals to the Shah Deniz consortium and we are waiting for their decision on the preferred gas transportation solution. Once the decision is made, I don't exclude that talks on potential cooperation between the projects will take place," he said.

On Oct. 1, TAP along with the other pipeline projects (Nabucco, ITGI) submitted their final proposals to the Azerbaijani side, which review them in accordance with previously announced criteria. The decision on the preferable transportation route is expected until the first quarter of 2012.

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