The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline could carry natural gas from the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea to European consumers. TAP is designed to move as much as 353 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year to the region through Greece, Albania and Italy.
Engineers announced an initial survey would examine the soil structure near the landfall area in Italy. Paul Pasteris, country manager for the project in Italy, said they need to make sure the area is suitable for construction of the planned 320-mile pipeline.
"This will further establish that that the proposed corridor has been carefully analyzed and will not have any long-term effects on the environment or landscape," he said in a statement.
The Italian section of the pipeline will consist of a 3-mile onshore section and a 27-mile offshore leg. It would eventually connect to the country's gas transit system.
By next year, the BP-led group controlling the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan should decide between Nabucco West and TAP as its transport artery.