Agreement signed by partners of ITGI natural gas pipeline

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, June 21 -- Italy’s Edison SPA, Turkey’s state-owned Botas, and Greece’s Depa SA signed a memorandum of understanding to transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea region to Italy via Turkey and the Adriatic, reducing Europe’s dependence on Russia as the main gas supplier.

The MOU defines the general terms and conditions for the gas transit for the Interconnection Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) Project through Turkey. The agreement includes usage of Botas’ existing capacity up to the Greek border for the gas requested by the ITGI line.

“Today's agreement is a big step forward for ITGI because it completes the framework for transit in Turkey and enables us to speed up the finalization of the gas contract with Azerbaijan,” said Edison Executive Vice-Pres. Roberto Poli.

The 804-km ITGI line, which will go into service in 2015, is comprised of three sections: the Turkish gas grid, which will be upgraded in order to enable transit of the volumes to Greece and Italy; the Interconnection Turkey-Greece (ITG), a 36-in. line completed in 2007; and the 800-km Interconnection Greece-Italy (IGI) line, yet to be built, which will have a transport capacity of 8 billion cu m/year.

The ITGI line is considered an integral part of Europe's plan to cut its dependence on Russian gas, aiming connect Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field to Italy via Turkey and the Adriatic. The ITGI system is part of the Southern Corridor, which also includes several other projects aimed at bypassing Russia: the Nabucco pipeline, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), and the White Stream pipeline.

ITGI’s most recent accord follows an agreement signed earlier this month by Turkey and Azerbaijan that analysts said opened the way for the first Central Asian gas exports to Europe.

In a key development under the agreement, Turkey would have the right to re-export gas from the second phase of production of the Shah Deniz field offshore Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.



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