The BP-led consortium controlling operations at Shah Deniz said the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline is one possible transit option for European consumers. TAP could move as much as 353 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year to the region through Greece, Albania and Italy.
TAP Managing Director Kjetil Tungland announced the Shah Deniz consortium agreed to secure funding for the project that would help finance work through final routing decisions in 2013.
"Our cooperation with Shah Deniz is now even closer and more far-reaching than before," he said in a statement.
TAP didn't provide the amount of financing secured but added stakeholders in the natural gas field could eventually take a 50 percent stake in the pipeline project.
By next year, the BP-led group should decide between Nabucco West, a scaled-down version of the larger $10 billion project, and TAP as the conduit for Azeri natural gas.
Both projects are part of the Southern Corridor, a network of pipelines meant to add diversity to the regional natural gas sector.