TAP gas pipeline gets nod from Albania

Jan. 21, 2013 at 6:33 AM

BAAR, Switzerland, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A decision by the Albanian government to stand by the planned Trans Adriatic Pipeline is "great step forward" for project development, an executive said.

The Albanian government initialed a host agreement that paves the way to formal ratification for the planned natural gas pipeline. Kjetil Tungland, managing director of the project company, said he was optimistic about the benefits the government's support for the pipeline would have on developments.

"This is another great step forward in the realization and development of TAP, which will contribute to advancement of Albania's gas market," he said in a statement.

The planned 320-mile 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.

Tungland added that his company was issuing a statement of congratulations to the Azeri and Turkish governments after both sides ratified an agreement on the Trans-Anatolia pipeline.

TANAP is designed to carry natural gas from the BP-controlled Shah Deniz field in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea through Turkish territory. The project would cross Turkish territory to the European border before it connects to either the Nabucco West or TAP pipelines.

The BP-led consortium working in Shah Deniz II is expected to make its decision on pipeline options by June 30.

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