Azeri gas pipeline impact assessment submitted to Italy

Offshore staff

ROME – The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium has submitted its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to Italy’s Ministry of Environment.

TAP aims to transport gas from the Shah Deniz field offshore Azerbaijan to Western Europe via offshore and onshore pipelines transiting Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea to Puglia in eastern Italy.

The Italian section will comprise a 5-km (3-mi) onshore and 45-km (28-mi) offshore pipeline, extending to a pipeline receiving terminal in the province of Lecce.

TAP will have capacity to deliver 10 bcm/yr (353 bcf/yr) of gas, or potentially double that amount as further gas volumes come onstream.

The proposed landfall is between San Foca and Torre Specchia Ruggeri in the municipality of Melendugno (Lecce). This will be constructed using micro-tunnelling technology, and will take the pipeline under any Posidonia sea grass (a protected habitat) growing offshore and beneath the coastline, to avoid any landscape impact on the beaches and cliffs.

TAP will tie into the existing Italian gas network, operated by Snam Rete Gas.

Nearshore construction work would be performed in winter to limit interference with the local tourist industry, and to safeguard the breeding period of sea turtles.

Martin Ferguson, Health, Safety, and Environment director at TAP, said he was confident TAP would obtain all necessary authorizations on time and be ready for the first gas from the Shah Deniz II development in 2017/2018.

3/21/2012

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