TAP pipeline open to other shareholders, including Iran

TAP pipeline [Wikimedia]

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will carry Azeri gas to European markets, and is seen as Europe’s alternative to its reliance on Russia, is open to new shareholders, including Iran, a spokeswoman for the project said yesterday (8 April).

The pipeline aims to transport gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea, one of the world’s largest gas fields, by the end of the decade. TAP is part of the Southern Gas Corridor.

The 870 kilometre (545 mile) pipeline will connect to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, and cross Greece and Albania, and the Adriatic, before reaching southern Italy.

The present TAP shareholders are BP (20%), Azerbaijan’s state company SOCAR (20%), Norway’s Statoil (20%), Belgium’s Fluxys (19%), Spain’s Enagás (16%) and Swiss-based Axpo (5%).

“TAP is open to new shareholders, which can add strategic value to the project,” Lisa Givert, TAP’s communication head, told reporters in the Azeri capital Baku, commenting on the possible interest from Iran, in acquiring a share in TAP project following the removal of sanctions imposed on the country.

“For any additional volumes that come on stream, TAP will comply with the EU regulation and relevant sanctions,” Givert said.

Azeri officials also do not rule out that Iran may join the project of Azeri gas export to Europe and use TANAP pipeline.

“If Iran has gas in the future, it won’t have other option but to use TANAP pipeline to supply its gas to other markets,” Rovnag Abdullayev, Azeri state energy company SOCAR’s president, told reporters last week.

Azerbaijan aims to transport 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year from its Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea by the end of the decade to Turkey and on to Europe.

A Commission official said last month that Gazprom can use TAP to move gas, if the Russian export monopoly builds the “Turkish Stream” pipeline and brings gas to Greece.

>> Read: Russia can use Trans-Adriatic pipeline, Commission confirms

Subscribe to our newsletters