Cold Europe needs Caspian gas, TAP says

Feb. 7, 2012 at 6:46 AM

BAAR, Switzerland, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Cold weather and natural gas disruptions from Russian suppliers highlight the need to move Caspian gas to European consumers, a pipeline director said.

Russian natural gas company Gazprom said last weekend it was having difficulties keeping up with demand from European consumers during an arctic cold snap. Some consumers saw natural gas levels drop by as much as 20 percent of normal.

Kjetil Tungland, managing director for the planned Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, said the crisis should be seen as a warning for European energy security.

"This highlights the urgent importance of finding a solution to bring Caspian gas to southeastern Europe, the region that needs it the most," he said in a statement. "I am hopeful that in the years to come, the proposed Trans-Adriatic Pipeline will be able to deliver this in a cost effective and technically robust manner."

TAP would reach from the Caspian Sea through Greece, Albania and to Western Europe.

The consortium said it was "fully on schedule" with gas developments in Azerbaijan, which could start shipping some of its gas through the so-called Southern Corridor of European transit networks by 2017.

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