"TAP plans to start offshore surveys in the Adriatic Sea this winter," the project company said in a statement. "The goal is to collect additional data and samples to identify optimal offshore routing."
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. It's up against the Nabucco West project to secure Azeri natural gas supplies.
The project company said it secured three vessels to conduct Adriatic Sea surveys. Land and water surveys for the potential route were approved for the Italian section in September.
"TAP is still in the process of collecting detailed information and samples along the proposed pipeline route offshore and onshore to ensure that its route is the safest and has the least impact on the local environment," Giampaolo Russo, TAP's country manager for Italy, said in a statement.
The Italian government extended the review period for the project by nine months. TAP said it aimed to complete the sea survey in time for the summer tourist season.