TAP Managing Director: Opening of Southern Gas Corridor - significant development for Europe's energy security

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 5

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

The opening of the Southern Gas Corridor is a truly significant development for Europe's energy security, Managing Director of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) Kjetil Tungland said in his interview to Azernews.

"It /Southern Gas Corridor/ ensures a new source of natural gas and an opportunity to reduce dependence on just a few major energy suppliers," Tungland said.

Talking about the advantages of TAP that contributed to the decision by the Consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development, Tungland said that TAP project best fulfilled the requirements of the Consortium.

"We always believed that TAP was the best option for Europe - more robust, more strategic and technically more advanced," Tungland said.

A consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development announced its choice of the TAP project in late June, as a gas transportation route to the European markets. Nabucco West was the second pipeline, which competed for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

According to Tungland, TAP's routing offers the possibility to connect to key pipeline infrastructure projects in South Eastern Europe such as the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP), thereby facilitating supplies to some of the countries where new resources are needed the most - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia.

"TAP can also facilitate new supplies to Bulgaria either via the planned Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) or via reverse flow at the interconnection point Kula-Sidirokastro line. This latter option was already used in 2009 to inject natural gas in the Bulgaria-Greece pipeline from the Greek LNG terminal at Revythoussa," Tungland said.

He also stressed that TAP can easily accommodate additional gas volumes in the future as they come on stream. "By installing just two additional compressors along its route, TAP can double its annual capacity to over 20bcm," Tungland said.

Regarding the chances of other Caspian countries to join the Southern Gas Corridor beyond 2020, Tungland believes that there are good prospects as the reserves in the region are truly abundant.

TAP is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and then to Western Europe. The gas which will be produced in the second phase of Shah Deniz field, is considered as the main source of the project.

The initial capacity of the TAP pipeline will be 10 billion cubic meters per year with the possibility of expanding to 20 billion cubic meters per year. TAP shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (16 percent), Total (10 percent), E.ON (9 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

The construction of TAP is planned to start in 2015.

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