TAP Among Gazprom's Export Options to Italy
A week after negotiations between Italian Eni and Russian Gazprom on updating a natural gas supply contract and the possible participation of Gazprom in planned routes to supply gas to southern Europe, including Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), TAP told NGW June 21 that in line with EU regulation any shipper who wishes to take part in TAP's open seasons may do so as long as they comply with the requirements for participation.
TAP is an independet transmission system operator and complies with the Third Directive, TAP communications head Lisa Givert said. Eni's midstream gas and power boss Massimo Mantovani said at a gas conference in Germany on June 15 that Gazprom was exploring several options for transporting gas to southeast Europe, including Poseidon, TAP and South Stream.
“TAP does not own or sell the gas it transports. TAP will initially transport about 10bn m³/yr from the [Caspian field] Shah Deniz phase II through Greece, Albania and into Italy. TAP will conduct market tests every two years, before the start of commercial operations, to offer the expansion capacity (up to TAP's total capacity of 20bn m³/yr). These market tests will be performed in accordance with the guidelines approved by the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) of Greece, Albania and Italy,” Givert said.
All interested parties can bid for available capacity in accordance with the rules set out in these guidelines.
“TAP will expand its capacity to accommodate validly submitted bids, if the market test results in both a technically feasible and economically viable outcome (in accordance with the TAP tariff methodology approved by the NRAs”.
TAP is part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project, which involves the delivery of gas from the Caspian and other regions to Europe via Turkey.
For Eni, flowing Russian gas into TAP may be interesting. This will allow Italy to receive gas in the southern part of the country in addition to 20bn m³/yr of Russian gas supplied through Austria via the Trans Austria Gas (TAG) pipeline. Moreover, Eni does not exclude the possibility of joining the shareholders of the Turkish Stream, aimed to supply Russian gas through sea to Turkey and then to EU.
Eni confirmed Mantovani's comments, "but the overall context is that we (Eni) are discussing a broad range of issues, and we have not agreed on anything, for the time being.”
South Stream could refer loosely to a European extension of TurkStream – a subsea line running from Russia to northern Turkey, of which so far only one of four possible 15.75bn m³/yr lines is committed – or it could mean a revival of TurkStream's predecessor, which starts off as a subsea line from Russia to Bulgaria and then runs into southern Europe. Gazprom has said its partners in this are French state-controlled Edison and Greek state owned Depa which are both suppliers of gas.
Russia's president Vladimir Putin scrapped the original South Stream line a few years ago on grounds that the European Union was making it difficulties for it to proceed in Bulgaria, and so he announced what is now known as TurkStream, saying that if Europe wanted Russian gas, it could pick it up from the Turkey-Greece border.
Like North Stream 2, South Stream – or TurkStream extensions – would reduce the role of Ukraine in Russian gas transportation. Russian gas would flow northwards through the Balkans to markets that are now supplied through the Ukrainian system.