By Aynur Jafarova
The demand for gas in the European Union would be sufficient for the implementation of both Nabucco West and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) projects, a source in the European Commission told Azerbaijan's Trend news agency on Friday.
According to the source, there is a possibility of the implementation of both of these projects, and there would be a big demand for Caspian gas.
EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said earlier that the Commission is neutral where the gas ends up in Europe and equally supports TAP and Nabucco West.
"Our policy remains that we firstly want to see a dedicated pipeline to be built outside the EU, and if its capacity is limited at the start, it should be ensured to legally and technically increase the capacity to transport higher volumes at a later stage when these become available, and secondly, we want a clear and transparent legal framework for the pipeline which would ensure uninterrupted gas supply to the EU," Oettinger said.
Oettinger said the aim of the Commission has always been to open the Southern Gas Corridor for the EU "in order to directly and physically link the EU gas market to the largest deposits of gas in the world in the Caspian Sea basin and the Middle East".
The consortium developing Azerbaijan's giant Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea is considering both TAP and Nabucco West, a rival pipeline project, as options for gas transportation to Europe. The consortium will make its final decision on the pipeline route in June and a final investment decision by October 2013.
The TAP project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into western Europe. Gas to be produced within the second phase of Shah Deniz gas condensate field development is considered as the main source for TAP.
TAP's initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it is easily expandable to 20 billion cubic meters.
Nabucco West is a short-cut version of the Nabucco project, which envisages construction of a pipeline from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria.
Both TAP and Nabucco West projects are part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the EU's priority energy projects. The Southern Gas Corridor aims at diversifying the routes and sources of energy supply, thereby increasing secure delivery.