Wood Mackenzie: TAP selection marks major step towards delivering Azerbaijani gas to heart of Europe

Wood Mackenzie: TAP selection marks major step towards delivering Azerbaijani gas to heart of Europe

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

The selection of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the pipeline to transport "Shah Deniz-2" project's gas marks another step towards delivering Azerbaijani gas to the heart of Europe, Wood Mackenzie, global energy and mining research and consultancy group, said in its report on Friday.

"The shorter TAP option will have been able to propose a more attractive tariff, overcoming long-held strategic support for the Nabucco project," Senior European Gas & Power research analyst for Wood Mackenzie Massimo Di-Odoardo said.

The consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development on Friday officially announced the selection of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the route to transport its gas to Europe.

Another pipeline vying for Azerbaijani gas transportation to Europe was Nabucco West.

Di-Odoardo believes that the decision has been driven by commercial considerations, including the financial robustness of the pipeline consortia and expected prices in target markets.

According to Wood Mackenzie's report, TAP should also enable Azerbaijani gas to reach beyond the Italian market. "There are plans to build reverse flow capacity in Northern Italy, linking to other countries in Northern Europe. Moreover, TAP will also target offtake points in Greece and Albania, as well as connections to other markets, including Bulgaria and the Balkan region," the report said.

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. Gas which will be produced during the second stage of Shah Deniz field development is considered as the main source for the project.

The TAP route will be approximately 870 kilometers in length (Greece 550 km; Albania 210 km; offshore Adriatic Sea 15km; Italy 5 km).

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

The construction of TAP is expected to start in 2015.

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