TAP to allow Greek DEPA to cut off BOTAS contract supplies

TAP to allow Greek DEPA to cut off BOTAS contract supplies

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug.3

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

The realization of phase 1 of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will considerably enhance the ability of Greece to cope with future supply crises, reduce the aggregate cost of its imports by allowing DEPA to cut off its relatively more expensive BOTAS contract supplies, and increase market openness and competition, Trend reports with reference to the the book titled “The Southern Gas Corridor and its importance for South-East Europe”.

TAP will allow Greece to reduce its Russian imports from a high of 56.25 percent of demand in 2017 to less than 50 percent in 2020, while Bulgaria will limit its own net import dependence on Russia by a much higher degree reducing it by as much as 33 percent, the authors believe.

“Future exports from Azerbaijan’s existing fields, including Absheron, Shafag-Asiman, and Umid-Babek, that are expected to come on stream after the mid-2020s will allow for the expansion of TAP’s transportation capacity by another 10 bcm/y which will further increase the region’s import portfolio, potentially facilitating the gasification of West Balkan economies through the IAP (Ionian Adriatic Pipeline) or more likely the expansion of the IGB (Interconnector Greece Bulgaria) pipeline,” reads the book.

The authors predict that apart from increasing its security of supply, the construction of TAP will also help Greece fulfill another major goal of its foreign energy policy: the establishment of a South-North gas corridor that simultaneously achieves the interconnection of natural gas systems/markets from the Aegean Sea to the Danube and helps to partially shield Central European and Balkan states from the consequences of another disruption to Russian imports transitting through Ukraine.

“This system, based on the construction of four 3 bcm/year capacity pipelines, would link Hungary with Greece via Bulgaria and Romania and provide all abovementioned intermediary markets with non-Russian imports via TAP and ITG (if its capacity it expanded). This system of interconnecting pipelines would also allow for the rapid reverse-flow of gas in case of another major gas supply/transit crisis like the January 2009 Russian-Ukrainian crisis.”

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).

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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