BP, the operator of the Shah Deniz natural gas field in Azerbaijan, expressed its commitment to developing the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the southern gas transportation route into Europe.
Speaking at the BP Forum in Berlin, on the 24th of May, Iain Conn, Chief Executive Refining and Marketing at BP, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to work together with TAP and the governments of the transit countries to obtain the necessary permits and approvals for the project: “The Shah Deniz partners have been looking at two basic options within the EU market. The first is the southern route through Greece and Albania to Italy. The second is into the markets of south-eastern and central Europe.”
Conn clarified that the EU Member States and the European Commission have recognised in November 2011 that “where the gas flows from the border of the EU single market is and should be a matter for normal commercial decisions.
Shah Deniz partners recently selected the Trans Adriatic Pipeline for the southern option to Italy. Exclusive negotiations are now in progress with TAP and there is no possibility of continuing with the Interconnector Turkey/Greece/Italy (ITGI) project to carry Azeri gas. Nabucco West and the South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP) are currently competing for the south-eastern and central European route.
If Italy wishes to import Southern Corridor gas, it will need to be through the TAP project. And we are committed to working with the Italian, Greek and Albanian governments, and with TAP, to gain all the required regulatory approvals and permits to make this pipeline option a success.”
The Shah Deniz consortium partners are currently evaluating the submissions made on the 16th of May by Nabucco West and SEEP and will select their preferred option by end of June 2012. A final market and route selection between TAP and the winner of the South-Eastern and Central European route is expected before June 2013.
“I should emphasize again that all of these options have strategic value and offer the necessary scope for scalability as future gas supplies become available. There is no pre-determined winner, the competition is fully open and there is still everything to play for”, added Conn.
Subsea World News Staff , May 27, 2012; Image: TAP