Trans-Adriatic natural gas pipeline group in Europe defends itself against a report arguing there may be conflicting interests at play. Photo by Kodda/Shutterstock
BAAR, Switzerland, July 29 (UPI) -- A report calling for European scrutiny over a pipeline slated to run through southern Europe is riddled with inaccuracies, a gas pipeline consortium said.
A report this week from the non-governmental organizations Re: Common and Counter Balance called on European financial organizations to avoid writing blank checks to the companies working on the Trans-Adriatic natural gas pipeline. The report said there is a "rush for gas" for a European market dependent in part on Russia and that haste may have unexpected consequences.
"There is a worrying overlap between the public and private interests involved in the pipeline," Elena Gerebizza with Re:Common said.
The Trans-Adriatic pipeline will start delivering gas from the Shah Deniz gas project off the coast of Azerbaijan to European consumers in 2019. TAP would connect to the Trans-Anatolian natural gas project running through Turkey to the Greek border and onto the broader European market.
The project consortium backing the pipeline is controlled in large part by British energy company BP and the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic. In contrast to Russian energy company Gazprom, the TAP consortium said it would not own or sell any of the gas it transports.
A report from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development finds Albania is "largely compliant" with international financial standards, though more work was needed to ensure effective exchanges of information.
The TAP consortium took issue with the NGO's report, pointing to shoddy reporting and "several inaccuracies."
"To begin with, TAP is a highly strategic project for Europe and for its host countries in particular," TAP spokesperson Lisa Givert said in response to emailed questions.
To date, the pipeline consortium said more than 900 Albanians are working on pipeline construction, national infrastructure is getting retooled and the pipeline itself could position the country as a regional gas hub while adding diversity to the energy sector.