Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) plans to start offshore surveys in the Adriatic Sea this winter. The goal is to collect additional data and samples to identify optimal offshore routing.
TAP plans offshore surveys that will consist of various investigations along the proposed offshore pipeline route in the Adriatic Sea in international, Italian and Albanian waters. The purpose of these surveys is to conduct seabed mapping, identify potential obstacles along the route, as well as collect core samples of the seabed.
Three vessels have been contracted by TAP to conduct these activities. The vessels will carry out work over short periods of time, lasting between one and three weeks at a time. One of these vessels will be visible from the Italian shore for approximately one week. It will be located at least 1000 meters away from the San Foca coast. These activities have been planned during this winter to avoid any impact on the busy summer tourist season. The surveys will be conducted ensuring minimal impact on environment.
Giampaolo Russo, TAP’s Country Manager for Italy, said: “TAP is still in the process of collecting detailed information and samples along the proposed pipeline route offshore and onshore to ensure that its route is the safest and has the least impact on the local environment. This is being carried out by leading experts in full compliance with the highest international standards.”
TAP plans to conduct additional surveys in the coming months. The construction of the pipeline would start, should the Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan select TAP as their priority gas transportation route to Italy.
TAP section in Italy
TAP’s Italian section will consist of a 45 km offshore pipeline and 5 km underground onshore pipeline stretching to a Pipeline Receiving Terminal (PRT) in the province of Lecce, near San Foca. At the PRT, TAP will tie-in with the Italian gas network, operated by Snam Rete Gas.
The current route of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, with a landfall in the province of Lecce, has been identified after three years of intensive field work in Italy. A group of experienced Italian and international environmental, social and technical experts and engineering companies have analysed numerous alternatives and selected this route which avoids crossing environmentally sensitive areas and which minimises potential negative social or economic impacts.
Past offshore surveys
In the period from October 2011 until February 2012 TAP has conducted a “near shore” survey at the proposed landfall section of the pipeline in Italy. The pipeline will be built using state-of-the-art micro-tunneling technology in order to respect marine wild-life (Posidonia sea grass) and not to contribute to coastal erosion.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project. The pipeline will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into Western Europe. The project is aimed at enhancing security of supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets. TAP will open a new so-called Southern Gas Corridor to Europe and establish a new market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian Sea.
The project is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year. TAP also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 per cent and the option to develop natural gas storage facilities in Albania to further ensure security of supply during any operational interruption of gas deliveries.
TAP’s shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway’s Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).
December 19, 2012