Italy, Albania, Greece to Sign TAP Gas Project Deal

Signing of an intergovernmental agreement between Italy, Greece and Albania for construction of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) gas project is expected this Friday in New York, Italian government source said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

Namely, the representatives of the three countries will be attending a United Nations meeting in New York, the source said, pointing out that “the signature is imminent”.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will start in Greece and continue onshore all the way to the Adriatic Sea coast, after crossing the entire territory of Albania from east to west. The offshore part of the pipeline begins near the Albanian city of Fier and crosses the Adriatic Sea to tie into Italy’s gas transportation grid operated by SNAM ReteGas. In its upstream part, TAP will interconnect with the existing DESFA pipeline system in Greece, which is linked further to the east with systems in Turkey, to secure access to the Shah Deniz natural gas field in Azerbaijan.

TAP is the shortest gas transit route of all the pipeline projects planned in the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, linking Europe to new gas supplies. The offshore section of the pipeline is routed through the shallowest part of the Adriatic Sea in comparison to other projects, which will ensure the long term physical stability of the pipeline and contribute to lower gas transport costs.

The TAP route will be approximately 800 kilometres in length (Approx.: Greece 478 km; Albania 204 km; offshore Adriatic Sea 105 km; Italy 5 km).

Laying the steel pipes at depths of more than 800 meters will allow developers use of S-type lay barges, a state-of-the-art technology widely used in pipeline construction.

TAP’s shareholders are EGL of Switzerland (42.5 percent), Norway’s Statoil (42.5 percent) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15 percent) .

Subsea World News Staff, September 26, 2012

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