TAP to Start-up by Year-end: BP
BP confirmed in a statement on October 13 that the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) would begin flowing gas to Europe before the end of the year as earlier planned.
Tap's operating consortium told NGW in September that the pipeline would start up before year-end, barring any unforeseen circumstances. But since then fighting has erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory, near to where SGC and other strategic pipelines run.
TAP is the third and final section of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), designed to carry gas from the BP-operated Shah Deniz 2 field in Azerbaijan to southern Europe. SGC's mid-section, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (Tanap), began pumping gas to Turkey in 2018. Tap joins with Tanap near the Greek-Turkish border and runs through Greece, Albania, under the Adriatic Sea to Italy.
TAP and an interconnecting pipeline built by Italy's Snam are expected to be ready in November, BP said. This "will allow the Shah Deniz Consortium to finalise the final steps required to start the twenty-five years long supplies of natural gas from Azerbaijan to customers in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria as planned by the end of 2020."
Russia brokered a ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia on October 9, but the fighting continues, with each side accusing the other of violations.
The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies published a report this month on the possible impact on markets of a disruption in Azeri oil and gas exports due to the conflict. Its conclusion was that oil buyers would be able to cover their needs elsewhere at little added cost given the current oversupply. Turkey would be able to replace Azeri gas shipments with volumes from Russia, Iran and LNG suppliers if necessary.
Georgia takes almost all its gas from Azerbaijan and lacks storage capacity. It would therefore have to take the "geopolitically hard decision" to resort to emergency deliveries from Russia. Relations between the pair have remained tense since they fought a brief war in 2008.