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20.09.2013 10:03

Experts see strategic role of TAP in European energy market

The Southern Gas Corridor was the topic of discussions during the Jamestown Foundation forum at the end of last week. During the forum the significant role of the Southern gas Corridor both for Azerbaijan and the EU was stressed.
Oil and Gas Journal reported with the reference to Amos J. Hochstein, deputy assistant secretary for energy diplomacy in the US Department of State's Bureau of Energy Resources, that the completion of the Southern Gas Corridor will be critically important for both the EU's and Azerbaijan's energy security.
"Selecting TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) in June was important, but we must work now to help remove any roadblocks and make sure it gets built," Hochstein said.
According to former US ambassador to Azerbaijan who now directs the International Center for Defense Studies in Tallinn Matthew Bryza, the selection of TAP by the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development was important because it not only creates a strategic corridor to Europe for Caspian Basin gas, but also was more realistic financially than Russia's South Stream project.
Chief executive of Energy Stream CMG GMBH in Frankfurt Anthony Livanios also stressed the strategic importance of acquiring of Greece's national gas transmission operator DESFA by SOCAR.
"Greece will be the first EU member to receive Caspian gas. It will strengthen Europe's energy market and stabilize the eastern Mediterranean by increasing cooperation between Turkey and Greece. TAP has been the best economic news in Greece for the last 5 years because of the additional gas supplies and the transit fees it will collect," Livanios said.
TAP is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and then to Western Europe. The gas which will be produced in the second phase of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development, is considered as the main source of the project.
The Shah Deniz Consortium announced its choice of the TAP project in late June as a gas transportation route to European markets.
The initial capacity of the TAP pipeline will be 10 billion cubic meters per year with the possibility of expanding to 20 billion cubic meters per year. TAP shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (16 percent), Total (10 percent), E.ON (9 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

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