Russian gas supply to Europe through TAP real option – expert

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.15
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

There are no political or technical obstacles for supply of Russian gas through the Trans-Adriatic pipeline, Stanislav Pritchin, research assistant of the Center for the Study of Central Asia and Caucasus of the Institute of Oriental Studies (Moscow) told Trend Apr.15.

"I don't see any serious obstacles due to which the supply of Russian gas that will be delivered to Turkey via the Turkish Stream wouldn't be transported via TAP," said the expert.

Pritchin added that if Gazprom and the operator of this pipeline reach an agreement, the supply of Russian gas via this pipeline is a quite real option.

"The matter is related to the free capacity, financial feasibility. I don't see any political or technical obstacles," he said.

The expert added that this option is fully consistent with Gazprom's strategy - to construct a pipeline to the Greek border and further to deliver fuel to European consumers via the existing pipelines or possibly, via the gas pipelines to be constructed in the future.

TAP is being implemented as part of the large Southern Gas Corridor project designed to transport gas from the Caspian Sea region to EU countries. The initial source for the project is the gas produced within the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field. This gas will be transported from Georgian-Turkish border to Turkey's western borders via the Trans-Anatolian pipeline and further to Greece, Albania via TAP and then to Italy's south through the Adriatic Sea.

It is planned to start the construction of TAP in 2016. TAP's initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year, with a possibility of expanding up to 20 billion cubic meters per year.

Turkish Stream project initiated by Russia envisages the supply of 63 billion cubic meters of gas. Of these, some 14 billion cubic meters of gas is intended for delivery to Turkey and the remaining volumes, about 50 billion cubic meters of gas, will be delivered to the border of Turkey with Greece.

The gas pipeline is projected to run on 660-kilometer section of the route, on which it was planned to build the South Stream, and on 250-kilometer section in a new corridor towards the European part of Turkey.

It is also planned that the first line of the pipeline, with a pumping capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year, will be stretched to Turkey in December 2016.

Earlier, European Commission representative said that if Russia constructs Turkish Stream gas pipeline, it will be able to use TAP to transport its gas to Europe.

"No matter who will supply gas. It makes no difference for us whether it will be Russian, Libyan or Azerbaijani gas," Brendan Devlin, advisor on gas policy of the directorate-general for energy of the European Commission said. "The domestic market works like that. These are the rules that we've set up for Russia, in particular for Gazprom."

Earlier, TAP representative told Trend that his position on involving new sources in the project is as follows: "TAP aims to transport gas from the Stage 2 of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field's development through Greece, Albania and further to Italy. For any additional volumes that come on stream, TAP will comply with EU regulation and relevant sanctions."

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Follow the author on Twitter: @AygunBadalova

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