By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan has started commercial gas supplies to Europe through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, the country’s Energy Ministry said on December 31.
The ministry said that Azerbaijan’s gas deliveries to Europe helped achieve the strategic goal of the Southern Gas Corridor that aims bring Caspian Sea gas resources to the European markets.
“This global energy security project is a contribution of the high political will and decisive energy policy of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The delivery of natural gas produced on Shah Deniz Stage 2 to European consumers shows once again that all the initiative put forward by President Ilham Aliyev are becoming a reality,” the ministry's statement reads.
The transportation of natural gas extracted from the Shah Deniz field, the main source of the Southern Gas Corridor, to the Turkish market from 2018, and to the European market for the first time now, opens a new page in the development of Azerbaijan as a gas country.
The ministry underlined that in the example of achievements in all segments of the Southern Gas Corridor, Azerbaijan has once again demonstrated its high dedication to its commitments and its reliable energy support.
The transport of natural gas to Europe will strengthen the energy security of Azerbaijan by diversifying the supply markets, and contribute to development and stability in the great geography.
Furthermore, the ministry stated that out of more than 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually to be supplied to European countries in 25 years, 8 billion cubic meters will be exported to Italy, while 2 cubic meters equally to Greece and Bulgaria, and the rest to the surrounding markets.
Likewise, the supply of gas to the south of Europe from new sources will contribute to the unification of the continent with the Caspian region.
Additionally, it was noted that the start of the transportation of Caspian gas to Europe today is a logical result of exemplary cooperation with partner countries, companies, international financial institutions and the continued high support of the U.S. and UK governments and European Union for the Southern Gas Corridor.
“Our next join success in the Southern Gas Corridor project, which includes mutually beneficial multilateral cooperation, is a historic event that will strengthen the global energy security system,” the message reads.
The Southern Gas Corridor is an initiative of the European Commission for a natural gas supply route from Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. The route from Azerbaijan to Europe consists of the South Caucasus Pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
TAP is a pipeline project to transport natural gas, starting from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further to Western Europe.
The pipeline would be supplied by natural gas from the second stage of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field development in the Azerbaijani section of Caspian Sea through the South Caucasus Pipeline and TANAP. Since it will enhance energy security and diversify gas supplies for several European markets, the TAP project is supported by the European institutions and seen as a "Project of Common Interest" and a part of the Southern Gas Corridor.
The total length of the pipeline is 878 kilometres, of which 550 kilometres in Greece, 215 kilometres in Albania, 105 kilometres in offshore, and 8 kilometres in Italy. The offshore leg is laid at a maximum depth of 810 metres.
The initial capacity of the pipeline is about 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, with the option to expand the capacity up to 20 billion cubic metres.
TAP’s shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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