Azerbaijan, Baku, 1 July /Trend , A.Badalova /
Both Nabucco West and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) projects are needed in the medium term, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in his article dedicated to the decision of the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development on transportation route to Europe.
The article was released by the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan on Monday.
Last week the Shah Deniz Consortium officially announced the selection of TAP as the route to transport its gas to Europe. Another pipeline vying for Azerbaijani gas transportation to Europe was Nabucco West.
In his article "Shah Deniz Decision: More gas for Europe", Oettinger said that this Consortium's decision was an historical one, as it signals that substantial volumes of gas will come to Europe from a Caspian country. "For Europe it means 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year starting before 2020," Oettinger stressed.
Commissioner also noted that Azerbaijan is a door opener in the process of the gas supply diversification for the EU, which includes diversification of routes, sources and counterparties.
"But there are further major sources in the Southern Gas Corridor, linking the EU to Turkey, the Eastern Mediterranean, Iraq, Azerbaijan and other countries," Oettinger said.
In his article Oettinger also mentioned the Trans Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), which will initially bring gas from the second stage of Shah Deniz field development, and eventually from other fields in Azerbaijan, to the European market.
"What we see today is just the beginning. A decision to have TAP built first and to bring more gas later means that the route to Austria - currently Nabucco West - is still on the table. The question is not either one or the other, in the medium term both are needed. This is certain: we will need more gas in 2020, and Caspian gas is a good response to this need," Oettinger said in the article.
More importantly than the choice between TAP and Nabucco is the opening of the Southern Corridor, Oettinger said.
"With an effective and functioning internal energy market, with the necessary infrastructure and reverse flows in place, once the gas enters the EU, it can be transported anywhere in Europe. Interconnections, championed by the European Commission, will secure the ability of gas to reach Member States who have just one or only few suppliers, such as Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary", he added.
According to Oettinger, the Commission is also working with Serbia and Bulgaria to build a connection between these two, and Romania is now connected to Hungary and Bulgaria. "The North-South initiative, spearheaded by the Commission, has put in place many small interconnectors that create a web of interconnection in South East and Central Europe. But more is still needed, to bring competitive prices to Southern Europe," Oettinger stressed.
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.