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The Trans Adriatic Pipeline received additional support from the governments of Italy, Greece and Albania, who signed a memorandum of understanding during last month”s United Nations General Assembly in New York, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a proposed pipeline project to transport natural gas from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further to Western Europe.

The European Union (EU) is trying to diversify its natural gas sources and cut the dependence of Russian gas supplies for Europe, which provides a quarter of the region”s demand. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline is being developed by EON Ruhrgas (Düsseldorf, Germany), Statoil (Stavanger, Norway), and EGL (Dietikon, Switzerland), and it is planned to transport as much as 20 billion cubic meters of gas a year from the Turkish border to southern Italy through Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea. EGL and Statoil have equal shares of 42.5 percent each, while EON has 15 percent of the venture”s stake.

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On August 9, 2012, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline consortium said that BP plc (London, England), Total S.A. (Paris, France) and Azerbaijan”s state oil company Socar (Baku, Azerbaijan) agreed to fund early preparation of the project ahead of a final route decision. According to Industrial Info, the agreement provides funding for early engineering and design work aimed at preparing the project for final selection next year, and includes an option for the companies involved in the development of the second phase of the giant Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan to take up to 50 percent equity in TAP, the statement said.

On June 26, 2012, Turkey and Azerbaijan signed an inter-governmental agreement to provide a vital connection in the form of the $7 billion Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), which is planned to carry Azeri natural gas across Turkey to the edge of Europe. This project will be a complementary part of the Nabucco West Pipeline, according to Industrial Info. The 1,300-kilometer Nabucco West pipeline will compete with TAP for the rights to export natural gas from the Shah Deniz field. For additional information, see March 23, 2012, article – Nabucco Pipeline Consortium Considers Merging with Competing Trans-Anatolia Pipeline.