BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct.14
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The growing demand for natural gas in Europe may accelerate the expansion of capacity of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, the European leg of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Ibrahim Ahmadov, deputy head of the public relations and events department at Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, told Trend that TAP AG consortium regularly holds market tests to expand the pipeline’s capacity.
“During these market tests TAP gets offers from potential supplies and considers them taking into account the forecast demand in the sales market. In summer 2021 TAP announced the start of another market tests, which will last until summer 2022. TAP may transport gas both from Azerbaijan and other sources, as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG). If the offers are commercially viable, the consortium will decide on TAP’s expansion. This may add maximum 10 billion cubic meters more natural gas to the existing transportation volume. Given that the gas pipeline has almost reached its full capacity, I believe that higher demand for natural gas in Europe may pave way for positive results of the market test,” he added.
Ahmadov pointed out that a number of perspective structures are under development in Azerbaijan. “Those structures can be considered as additional sources for gas export in several years. The major part of oil and gas in Azerbaijan is produced offshore. Development of deep-water gas fields is a time-consuming process. It follows the decision on product sale, which depends on the physical properties of gas and its transportation.”
TAP transports natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline connects with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border in Kipoi, crosses Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP will facilitate gas supplies to South Eastern European countries through prospective interconnectors. In particular, Bulgaria will be able to cover up to 33% of its total gas demand through TAP after the completion of the Interconnector Greece Bulgaria (IGB). TAP’s exits in Greece and Albania together with the landfall in Italy provide multiple opportunities for further transport of gas from Azerbaijan to the wider European markets.
As a key part of the Southern Gas Corridor, TAP is strategically and economically important to Europe and essential in providing reliable access to a new source of natural gas. TAP plays a significant role in boosting Europe’s energy security, supply diversification, as well as decarbonisation objectives.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of bp (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
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