TIRANA (Albania), August 9 (SeeNews) - The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) said on Thursday its shareholders have reached an agreement with members of the Shah Deniz consortium to secure funding for the TAP project.
The funds agreed with BP, Total and Azerbaijani state-owned company Socar will contribute towards continued work in several important areas during the period running up to the final routing decision, expected in 2013, TAP said in a statement.
The agreement also includes an option for the Shah Deniz shareholders to take up to 50% equity in TAP.
“The signing of this agreement is a significant vote of confidence in the quality of TAP’s technical and commercial solutions from key industry players, and underpins the Cooperation Agreement that was signed between TAP and Shah Deniz in June," Kjetil Tungland, TAP’s managing director, said.
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II development in Azerbaijan, shipping it via Greece and Albania, across the Adriatic Sea to Southern Italy, and further into Western Europe. Designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 billion cubic meters per year, depending on supply and demand, TAP will open up the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, enhancing Europe’s energy security by contributing to the diversification of the region’s gas supplies.
The TAP consortium comprises European energy companies Statoil, E.ON Ruhrgas and EGL.
BP operates the Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan. It and Statoil own 25.5% stakes each in Shah Deniz. Socar, Russia's Lukoil Holdings, France's Total and the National Iranian Oil Company all own 10% each, while Turkey's TPAO controls 9.0%.