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Trans-Adriatic Pipeline will strengthen energy security in Europe — Azerbaijan president

June 16, 2014, 20:12 UTC+3 ATHENS
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will start in Greece, cross Albania and the Adriatic Sea and come ashore in southern Italy, allowing gas to flow directly from the Caspian region to European markets
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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Rodionov

ATHENS, June 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Azerbaijan’s President Ilkham Aliyev has said the construction of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will strengthen energy security in Europe.

“Energy security has strategic importance and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline will enhance relations between Azerbaijan and Greece,” Aliyev said after talks with Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Monday.

The TAP project and the Shah Deniz gas field are important for Europe because gas will run to European markets for many decades, he said.

Papoulias said the two countries “strengthen economic cooperation after they elect the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline that will transport gas to Europe from Azerbaijan via Greece. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) acquires a controlling package of shares of Greece’s DESFA”.

In the presence of the presidents Greek Vice-Premier, Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov signed three documents: an agreement on agricultural cooperation, a document on interaction in youth affairs and a memorandum on EU-Azerbaijan cooperation (Greece takes the rotating presidency in the EU).

Energy issues were also in the focus of the talks between Aliyev and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. “The talks touched upon the TAP project and DESFA and on geostrategic issues as a whole,” Athens News Agency (ANA) said.

“The parties discussed the events in Russia and Ukraine and Greece’s role in Europe’s energy sector. The premier and the Azerbaijani president discussed the current events and prospects for the European Union development,” ANA said.

In early 2013 the Shah Deniz Consortium decided to work together with TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) on the supply route to Italy. E.ON has a 9% stake in the TAP project.

E.ON Global Commodities is the energy trading business of E.ON, one of the world’s largest investor-owned power and gas companies. As the commercial hub for E.ON and the international wholesale energy markets, it buys and sells electricity, emission certificates, natural gas, oil, coal and freight. Operating along the entire energy value chain, E.ON Global Commodities focuses on helping E.ON realise the full value of its diverse and flexible power and gas portfolio by operating as the company’s centre of expertise for asset optimisation, commodity price risk management and wholesale market access. The company also owns and operates a pipeline infrastructure business, which supports gas supply and trading activities, and an unbundled gas storage business.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will start in Greece, cross Albania and the Adriatic Sea and come ashore in southern Italy, allowing gas to flow directly from the Caspian region to European markets.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG is a joint venture company established with the purpose of planning, developing and building the TAP natural gas pipeline.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will bring natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe.

The shareholder structure of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project comprises of Swiss Axpo (42.5%), Norwegian Statoil (42.5%) and German E.ON (15%).

The Shah Deniz Consortium has said repeatedly that it would choose the option that is most beneficial from the commercial and technical points of view.

The route will be used for transporting Azerbaijani natural gas produced under Stage 2 Shah Deniz development project. The first gas from Shah Deniz-2 will start to be produced in 2018 in the amount of 16 billion cubic metres a year, of which 10 billion cubic metres will be supplied to European markets.

The Shah Deniz field is believed to contain 1.2 trillion cubic metres of gas, while Azerbaijan’s overall proven gas reserves are estimated at 2.6 trillion cubic metres.

The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline will stretch 478 kilometers through the territory of Greece from Komotini (northeastern Greece) across Albania (209 kilomteres) and the Adriatic Sea bed (105 kilometers) to Brindisi in southern Italy.

The pipeline’s construction will start in late 2014-early 2015 and will be completed in 2018. The first gas supplies are scheduled for early 2019.

The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline’s initial annual throughput is 10 billion cubic meters, which may grow to 20 billion cubic meters with the construction of compressor stations in Greece and Albania.

Investments into the project will total $40 billion.

The pipeline’s current shareholders are Switzerland’s AXPO with a 42.5% stake, Norway’s Statoil with a 42.5% stake and Germany’s E.ON Ruhrgas with a 15% stake.

Within the framework of the second stage of the Shakh Deniz oil development project Azerbaijan plans to produce 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year.

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