StatoilHydro AS dan perusahaan Swiss, EGL Group akan membangun 10 milyar cu m/tahun Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) berdasarkan persetujuan yang ditandatangani pada tanggal 13 Feb. Sistem gas TAP akan membawanya ke Eropa dari Turki dan Yunani pada tahun 2011, tergantung kebutuhan.

Penulis : Uchenna Izundu

The $2.2 billion, 520-km system will deliver gas through the Adriatic Sea. However, StatoilHydro indicated that the cost could increase depending on the time of construction, international steel prices, and other pipeline equipment-related costs. Major oil and gas projects are facing cost challenges and have been delayed because of a tight supply market and escalating production costs.

TAP will link existing Greek pipelines with southeastern Italy and facilitate a new delivery corridor from the Caspian Sea and the Middle East towards Western Europe. The partners, which have formed a 50-50 joint venture for TAP, have the option to increase the line’s capacity to 20 billion cu m/year. The European Union has prioritized the pipeline—which is in the front-end engineering stage—under its Trans-European Energy Networks guidelines.

The companies plan to take a final investment decision by second half 2009.

Rune Bjornson, StatoilHydro executive vice-president for natural gas, said: ‘Our joining of the TAP project should be viewed as a move to offer an attractive market outlet for the Shah Deniz gas to the European market.’ StatoilHydro holds a 25.5% stake in the field, which is in the Azeri part of the Caspian Sea. Recently, additional reserves were proved to support the development of a second stage of the field.

EGL signed a 25-year deal last year with the National Iran Gas Export Co. to deliver 5.5 billion cu m/year of gas to Europe (OGJ Online, Jan. 2, 2007).