Nabucco West markets are less diversified than TAP’s ones

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 30 / Trend A.Badalova /

The markets of Nabucco West pipeline project in Central and South Eastern Europe (CEE & SEE) are less diversified than those targeted by the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Editor-in-Chief at Eurasia Energy Observer Andrej Tibold believes.

"Therefore customers on these Central and East European markets might be more inclined to pay a 'premium' for Azerbaijani gas", Tibold wrote Trend by e-mail.

Talking about the advantages of these two projects (Nabucco West and TAP), which are currently vying for transporting Azerbaijani gas to Europe, Tibold mentioned that more countries are involved in Nabucco West project (including five transit countries) rather than in TAP.

"As more countries will benefit from Nabucco-West than TAP, this will also further strengthen Azerbaijan's relations with the EU," Tibold believes.

Currently the Consortium for the development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considering two options for transporting its gas to the European markets - Nabucco West and TAP.

In March Nabucco West and TAP submitted their final offers to Shah Deniz Consortium. The transportation offers include substantial information about the technical, regulatory, financial and other aspects of the projects. The final decision on the pipeline rooute will be made in June, 2013.

Nabucco West is a short-cut version of Nabucco project, which provides for the construction of the pipeline from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria. The project is proposed to connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Bulgarian border, transiting Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania to the Central European Gas Hub in Baumgarten, Austria.

The project's current shareholders are Bulgarian Energy Holding, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas, Austrian OMV and Hungary's FGSZ.

TAP project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to the south of Italy, and further to Western Europe. TAP's initial pipeline capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it is easily expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year. TAP's shareholders are Switzerland's AXPO (42.5 percent), Norway's Statoil (42.5 percent) and Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas of (15 percent).

Earlier, TAP External Affairs Director Michael Hoffmann told Trend that besides bringing gas into Italian and Greek markets, TAP may also provide Azerbaijani gas with the access to Western Balkans countries, such as Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and etc. by connecting TAP to so called Ionian Adriatic Pipeline.

Moreover, according to Hoffmann, TAP can also easily bring the gas to other major European markets, like Germany, France, the UK and Switzerland by linking to the existing Transitgas pipeline system.

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