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Judge TAP by merits, director says

Oct. 3, 2011 at 11:45 AM

BAAR, Switzerland, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Judge the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, designed to carry natural gas from Azerbaijan, on its merits, the pipeline's managing director urged.

Azerbaijan during the weekend heard from pipeline groups involved in the proposed Italy-Greece natural gas interconnector, Trans-Adriatic Pipeline and Nabucco regarding the transit of its natural gas from its giant offshore Shah Deniz gas field.

The projects are including as part of the so-called Southern Corridor of transit networks meant to ally European concerns over energy security.

TAP would move natural gas from the Caspian region to European markets. It would start near Thessaloniki, Greece, go through the Adriatic Sea and reach shore in southern Italy.

TAP last month sent third-party access exemption applications to the host countries that would let the consortium enter into a ship-or-pay gas transportation agreement with shippers working in the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan.

TAP Managing Director Kjetil Tungland, in a statement, said the "stakes are high" for competing projects in the Southern Corridor.

"It is robust, from both a technical and financial point of view, and will be delivered on time and to specification," he said.

Nabucco is the most ambitious of the pipeline projects. In May, however, it was announced that construction was delayed by one year to 2013 and gas deliveries weren't expected until 2017 because of supplier timelines.

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