BAAR, Switzerland, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Italian government agreed to extend the submission date for an environmental assessment for the TAP natural gas project, the project company said.
The planned 320-mile Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project is designed to carry as much as 353 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year from Azeri territory of the Caspian Sea to European consumers. Land and water surveys for the potential route were approved for the Italian section in September.
The project company said it was getting a significant amount of feedback from stakeholders on potential environmental and social issues regarding the pipeline.
"It is vital that TAP takes the necessary time to give appropriate consideration to all the comments received from our stakeholders," Giampaolo Russo, TAP's country manager for Italy, said in a statement.
The BP-led group controlling the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan should decide by next year between Nabucco West and TAP as its transport artery. Both are part of the Southern Corridor of transit networks meant to add diversity to a European energy market that depends in part on Russian suppliers.
The Italian section of the project would extend about 25 miles offshore and 3 miles onshore. The submission deadline to provide additional information to the Italian government is September 2013.