ATHENS – Both the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) will be completed in time for gas from the Caspian region to be supplied to Europe, BP Vice President for Southern Corridor John Baldwin told New Europe on 13 March.
“The whole thing is governed by a series of legal agreements between all the companies and all the shareholders involved. Both TANAP and TAP are pipeline companies; there are gas transportation agreements which obviously – these legal agreements all have various requirements in them,” he said on the sideline of the Athens Energy Forum 2014.
Baldwin also said the additional gas supplies provided through the Southern Gas Corridor “will have an impact” on the energy market of the Balkan countries some of which rely on only one source for their gas supplies.
“We have sold 1 bcm (billion cubic metres) of gas to Bulgaria,” he said. More countries in the Balkans could get gas from the Southern Corridor “in time”. The potential is there,” he said.
TAP will open the new Southern Gas Corridor to Europe and establish a new market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian Sea and beyond. TAP will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to Southern Italy and further into Western Europe. The project is aimed at enhancing security of supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets.
Meanwhile, Russia is pushing ahead with the construction of the South Stream project, which envisages the construction of four gas pipeline strings under the Black Sea, to transport Russian gas to Europe, bypassing Ukraine. They will be laid from the Russkaya main compressor station that will be constructed on the Russian coast to the Pasha Dere receiving terminal on the Bulgarian coast near Varna. The gas pipeline will run through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to northern Italy. Gas pipeline branches will be constructed from Serbia to Croatia and Republika Srpska (within Bosnia and Herzegovina). In addition, the possibility of constructing a gas pipeline branch to FYROM is being considered.
Simone Tagliapietra, research fellow at Italy’s Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei, told New Europe on 13 March in Athens that the current situation in Ukraine is not directly affecting the Italian market at least over the short term because of the seasonality and because of the levels of storage. “Today as Italian energy natural gas system, I think we will not be directly impacted by any occurrence in Ukraine. In the future, I think the South Stream pipeline and TAP are not competing. They are very different scales so the volumes from TAP are far less than the ones of South Stream. So they will just be complimentary in the market,” he said.
He reminded that the policy of the European Commission is to diversify away not only from Russia but generally from the few suppliers that Europe has. “Diversification is an overall policy not just concerning the Southern Corridor, the diversification away from Russian supplies. It’s an overall policy regarding also LNG (liquefied natural gas),” he said.
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