Trans Adriatic Pipeline selected to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe (UPDATE)

Details added (the first version was published at 11:12)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 28 June / Trend A.Badalova /

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has been selected by the consortium for the development of the Azerbaijani gas condensate field Shah Deniz as the route to transport its gas to European markets. This was officially announced on Friday.

As BP President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, Gordon Birrell said at a press briefing, TAP is an important project and especially for the Southern Gas Corridor.

He noted that two years ago, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso signed a document confirming the possibility of transporting Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

"Important results in this direction were confirmed once again a few days ago in Brussels. We will see how Azerbaijan is becoming a European supplier of gas," Birrell said.

He said that Azerbaijan has demonstrated itself as a reliable partner by pumping 2.3 billion barrels of oil via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

"In the past two years, we have been considering various options for pipelines and made the right choice. In that time we have been looking for various aspects including technical, financial and security issues as well as the possibility of extension. With great confidence we will start acting towards the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor," Birrell said.

As Birrell noted, there will be an increase in gas production from other fields in Azerbaijan in the future, which will cause a need for new interconnectors and a new infrastructure.

Birrell said that BP is working closely with Azerbaijan on the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline project (TANAP).

According to him, some $40 billion will be invested in the realisation of Shah Deniz-2 and enabling gas deliveries to Europe. Shah Deniz-2 involves extraction of an additional 16 billion cubic meters of gas from the field.

The 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.

The gas produced within the second phase of development of Azerbaijani gas condensate field Shah Deniz is regarded as the main source for the project.

TAP's initial pipeline capacity will be 10 billion cubic metres per year, but is easily expandable to 20 billion cubic metres per year. TAP's shareholders are AXPO of Switzerland (42.5 per cent), Norway's Statoil (42.5 per cent) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15 per cent).

Construction of TAP is expected to start in 2015.

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