STAVANGER, Norway -- StatoilHydro and EGL Group have established an equally-owned joint venture to develop, build and operate the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
According to the companies, the pipeline will open a new corridor and market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian Sea and Middle East regions into Europe. The 520-km (323-mi) pipeline will transport gas via Greece and Albania, across the Adriatic Sea to Italy's southern Puglia region, and further into Western Europe. TAP's offshore length will be about 115 km (71 mi). Upstream, TAP will interconnect with Greece's existing pipeline system that is linked further to the east with systems in Turkey.
The gas transport capacity of the pipeline will be around 10 bcm annually, with the option to expand to 20 bcm. TAP is expected to be operational at the earliest from 2011, depending on the gas shipment needs.
Implementation of the TAP project is subject to a final investment decision planned for the second half of 2009. EGL, which started the project, estimates it will cost $2.2 billion to build the pipeline.
"TAP's development is a natural consequence of EGL's supply requirements, while it also matches Europe's needs to diversify gas sources via the shortest route along a new Eurasian corridor,' says Joachim Conrad, head of EGL's of gas division. "TAP combines the principles of energy security, regional growth, stability and sound solutions, and StatoilHydro's commitment to join us is proof of our realistic approach and determination with this project."
TAP is currently in the front-end engineering stage. The feasibility study was concluded by EGL in March 2006. TAP's extended basic engineering, including the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was concluded in March 2007, and included the offshore survey for the pipeline, which was carried out in 2006.