Brussels, 13 February 2013
Commissioner Oettinger welcomes the signature of the intergovernmental agreement on TAP
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger welcomed today's signature of a tri-lateral intergovernmental agreement (IGA) as an essential step in the preparation of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP). TAP is an important gas pipeline between Italy, Albania and Greece with a starting capacity of minimum 10 billion cubic metres per annum (bcma). EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger said: "This pipeline is instrumental to connect the gas markets of Italy and Greece and to bring gas to Albania and potentially to other of our Energy Community neighbours. It could be among the first components of the Southern Gas Corridor which aims at linking directly the European Union with the rich gas sources in the Caspian Region."
Concluded today in Athens between Albania, Greece and Italy, the IGA sets out the legal framework for the TAP pipeline. It includes a range of commitments by Greece, Italy and Albania and will ensure that the states cooperate in the development of 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 in 2012, 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 on the EU territory – the objective is to have a reliable, 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 bcma. 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" of the Southern Gas Corridor and of Europe's future gas deliveries from the Caspian region.