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Trans Adriatic Pipeline has good chances to win

26 June 2013 / 20:06:34  GRReporter
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The consortium, which is developing the Shah Deniz project has rejected Nabucco West that should have carried Azeri gas to Europe. This means that the probability of completing the rival Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project is great.

It is expected that the final decision will be taken on Friday but the government in Athens is moderately optimistic. According to Greek media which refer to sources of the European Union, Gunther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, had stated that the choice of the TAP pipeline was final. Earlier today, the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with representatives of the consortium, which is developing the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan.

The Austrian energy company OMV, a leading member of the consortium which stood behind the Nabucco West project has confirmed in a message the news of the rejection of Nabucco West as well. "The Nabucco West project was not approved by the Shah Deniz consortium. It will look for alternative ways to secure additional gas supplies to Europe."
Along with OMV, the consortium behind the Nabucco West project involved the Hungarian company MOL, the Romanian Transgaz, the Bulgarian Bulgargas, the Turkish Botas and the French GDF-Suez recently.
During an emergency press conference, Gerhard Reuss, director of OMV, has also stated that the Nabucco West project is over for the company. He doubted whether high gas prices could be reached in Greece which is applying strict fiscal measures at present or in Italy which is supplied with large quantities of natural gas. Both countries are in the route of the TAP pipeline.

"It is up to you to answer the question whether this decision is the fig leaf to cover a political decision," added Reuss.

For its part, the consortium which is managing TAP refused to make any comment.

The decision of the Shah Deniz consortium, headed by the British company British Petroleum, is awaited with great interest since the choice of the pipeline is part of the efforts of the European Union to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas.

Late in the afternoon, an agreement on the TAP gas pipeline was signed in Athens between Greece as a hosting country and a representative of the Shah Deniz consortium. At the official ceremony, Minister of Finance Yiannis Stournaras and Deputy Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Makis Papageorgiou signed on the part of Greece and Managing Director Kyetil Tungland on behalf of the consortium.

The Azerbaijani gas field Shah Deniz II in the Caspian Sea is one of the largest in the world and it is expected that it will supply Turkey with 6 billion cubic metres and Europe with 10 billion cubic metres of gas annually.

The TAP pipeline will start from the Greek-Turkish border and will pass through northern Greece and Albania to reach Italy. The managing consortium involves the Swiss company Axpo with a share of 42.5%, Norway's Statoil E.ON with 42.5% and the German Ruhgas with 15%.

The investment in the construction of the pipeline in Greece will amount to 1.5 billion euro. It is expected that the project will create 2,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs.

The competitive Nabucco West project should have connected Turkey with Austria and the pipeline should have passed through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

Tags: EconomyGas pipelineTAPNabucco WestAzeri gasShah Deniz field
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