TEAS welcomes TAP decision

Press Release: The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) welcomes the announcement by the BP-led Shah Deniz Consortium on 26 June 2013 to opt for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the route to bring Azerbaijani Caspian gas to Europe. The pipeline will convey gas from Komotini in Greece, traverse Albania and the Adriatic Sea and finally deliver it to Sana Foca in Southern Italy. The 492 mile-long pipeline will have a maximum capacity of 20bn m3 (bcm) per year. The decision follows lengthy deliberations by the Consortium to decide between two finalist pipeline candidates – TAP and Nabucco West.

TAP will form part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is set to play an important role in ensuring diversity of energy supplies to Europe, maintaining energy security. The decision follows the finalisation of agreements last year between the Turkish and Azerbaijani governments regarding the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP). This will take gas from the Shah Deniz Stage 2 development in the Caspian Sea, which is expected to produce up to 16bcm per year, in addition to the 9bcm already produced by Shah Deniz Stage 1. TANAP construction will begin next year and be completed in 2018.

The decision comes on the heels of a decision on 20 June by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) to acquire a 66 per cent stake in DESFA, the Greek gas transmission network operator, for £400m. Of this, £188m will be pumped into the depleted Greek economy.

The TAP decision is further confirmation of Azerbaijan’s gravitation west, and commitment towards integrating itself further with European infrastructural architecture and diversifying the EU’s energy security mix.