BAAR, Switzerland – The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium and shareholders Axpo, Statoil, and E.ON have struck an agreement with three of the partners in the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea.
This stipulates how the TAP joint venture will be governed by an enlarged shareholder group comprising Statoil, E.ON, Axpo, and Shah Deniz co-owners SOCAR, BP, and Total. The field trio could take a combined stake of up to 50%.
TAP is one of three planned offshore/onshore pipelines in the running to take gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz II project in the offshore Azeri sector. The others are the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP).
The Shah Deniz consortium expects to make a final decision on the preferred European gas transportation solution by mid-2013.
TAP would transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and onto western Europe.
The project could provide 10-20 bcm/yr (373-706 bcf/yr) of transportation capacity, with options for physical reverse flow of up to 80%, and development of natural gas storage facilities in Albania, strengthening supply security should gas deliveries be interrupted.
TAP’s shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland (42.5%), Statoil (42.5%), and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%). Statoil is also a partner in Shah Deniz.
Last week the Albanian Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy and the TAP partners signed a host government agreement, setting out their terms of engagement within Albania.
These include TAP’s land easement and acquisition and permitting processes, and implementation of technical, environmental and safety standards. Additionally, TAP agreed to provide technical support for development of the local Albanian gas market.
The Albanian section of the TAP pipeline would start at Bilisht Qendër in Korça region at the border with Greece. The offshore Albania section in the Adriatic Sea would be about 60 km (37 mi) long.