Azerbaijan is not only of strategic importance to Italy, but whole EU: Dutch expert

Oil&Gas Materials 22 February 2020 11:39 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan is not only of strategic importance to Italy, but whole EU: Dutch expert

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.22

By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:

Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will shape Italy’s gas market in several ways, Ashley Sherman, Principal Research Analyst – Caspian & Europe at Wood Mackenzie research and consulting company told Trend.

"Italy is heavily reliant on gas imports. Commissioning of TAP will therefore be an important diversification of supply options for the long term," said Sherman.

"TAP – and increased availability of gas supply into Italy – will also help shape the country’s gas market in several ways. Firstly, TAP will deliver gas into southern Italy (Puglia region) and will result in additional flows between south and north Italy. Secondly, TAP will also boost the importance of the country’s gas hub (PSV) and integration with neighbouring markets. Finally, the gas contracts signed for deliveries via TAP will set the benchmark for future renegotiation of other piped import agreements in the 2020s," he added.

Cyril Widdershoven, a Middle East geopolitical specialist and energy analyst, a partner at Dutch risk consultancy VEROCY and Global Head Strategy Risk at Berry Commodities told Trend that the importance of Azerbaijan for Italy is increasing.

"Looking at both oil and gas, Italy has shown its interest in the Azerbaijani opportunities, addressing not only importing oil and gas for local consumption, but also actively pursuing other energy options in Azerbaijan at the same time," he said.

The expert noted that on a regional level, Azerbaijan is clearly a major player, not only for Italy but for EU as a whole.

Azerbaijan is at the Crossroads of several major oil and gas regions, which makes it not only of strategic importance to Italy, but EU, he added.

TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU). The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.

Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.

The project is currently in its construction phase, which started in 2016.

Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).