Trans Adriatic Pipeline submits Italian ESIA

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline has submitted its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to the Ministry of Environment in Italy. The ESIA outlines the project’s most recent configuration in Italy, explaining its potential impact on the local environment, as well as proposing measures to avoid or mitigate negative effects and enhance the pipeline’s positive effects.

TAP aims to deliver natural gas from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan to western Europe, via Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea, to Italy’s Puglia region. TAP’s Italian section will consist of a 5-km onshore and 45-km offshore pipeline, extending to a receiving terminal in the province of Lecce. TAP will have a 10 billion cu m/year initial capacity, expandable to 20 bcm/year as Shah Deniz production increases.

TAP’s proposed landing point on the Italian coast is between San Foca and Torre Specchia Ruggeri in the municipality of Melendugno (Lecce). TAP will tie-in with the Italian gas network, operated by Snam Rete Gas.

Landfall will occur via tunnel, routing the pipeline under any Posidonia seagrass (protected habitat) growth offshore and beneath the coastline to avoid affecting the landscape. Near-shore construction work will take place during winter to minimize impact on the tourist industry and avoid interfering with the breeding period of sea turtles.

TAP anticipates having the pipeline ready for service by the time the Shah Deniz II development comes online in 2017-18. State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and other members of the consortium developing Shah Deniz, however, have not yet selected a final export route to Europe.

Shah Deniz II is operated by BP with 25.5% interest. Statoil also holds 25.5% interest, with the balance divided among SOCAR 10%, Lukoil 10%, Total 10%, Turkish Petroleum AO 9%, and Naftiran Intertrade Co. 10%.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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