Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 6 / Trend A.Badalova/
The recent sharp fall in Russian gas supplies to the EU countries highlights the urgent importance of finding a solution to bring Caspian gas to South Eastern Europe, which is the region that needs it the most, the Managing Director of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) Kjetil Tungland.
"I am hopeful that in the years to come, the proposed Trans Adriatic Pipeline will be able to deliver this in a cost effective and technically robust manner," Tungland said in a statement, published on TAP official website.
He stressed that the extreme cold weather that Europe is presently facing has boosted gas demand, putting energy supplies under strain.
Last week Russian gas supplies to the European countries were significantly decreased due to cold winter weather, which caused the rise of Russia's domestic demand.
Among the countries which suffered the most from these gas disruptions was Austria, Italy, and Poland.
Tungland said that in Italy, gas flows were reduced by 20 percent compared with normal levels.
TAP is one of the projects within the Southern Gas Corridor, which is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into western Europe. Gas which will be produced during the second stage of Shah Deniz field development is considered as the main source for TAP project.
On Oct. 1, TAP along with the other Southern Gas Corridor projects (Nabucco and ITGI) submitted the final proposals to the Azerbaijani side, which will review them in accordance with the previously announced criteria. The decision on the preferable transportation route is expected to be made in the first quarter of 2012.
The total length of TAP 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).