Brussels, 28 September 2012
Commissioner Oettinger welcomes the signature of the political agreement on TAP
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger welcomed yesterday's signature of a political agreement allowing the go-ahead of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP). TAP is a 20 billion cubic metres per annum (bcma) pipeline between Italy, Albania and Greece.
EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger said: "This is another important step towards our aim to get gas directly from the Caspian Region."
This political document between Albania, Greece and Italy is an agreement in principle to the construction of a pipeline. The agreement allows the detailed permitting and regulatory procedures to go ahead, and paves the way for a formal inter-governmental agreement setting out the legal framework for the TAP pipeline.
The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline starts in Komotini/Greece and goes via Albania to Italy, connecting existing infrastructures in Italy and Greece. In the beginning of 2012, TAP has been selected by the Shah Deniz Consortium in Azerbaijan as preferred gas transportation for the Southern route.
Also earlier this year, the Shah Deniz Consortium has selected "Nabucco West" as preferred partner for the distribution of gas within Central Europe. Rather than opting for a one-step-approach, the Consortium had decided to go ahead on the basis of a regional pre-selection. These regions are: Central Europe, Southern Europe and Turkey.
Whatever the final decision taken – one or more pipelines - there will be an unbroken system of pipelines that will be built from the Caspian Sea to Europe.
The Shah Deniz Gas field is the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan. The production from Shah Deniz II (second phase of exploration, starting in a few years), will produce 16 bcm/year. In January 2011, Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Oettinger visited Baku and, with President Ilham Aliev, agreed that Azerbaijan will be "the substantial contributor" and "enabler" to Europe's future gas deliveries from the Caspian region.
The European Union will continue to work with all partners concerned so as to bring further gas into the system, notably from Turkmenistan, through the construction of a Trans-Caspian Pipeline.