TAP pipeline commissioning unlikely to be disrupted by Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

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TAP pipeline commissioning unlikely to be disrupted by Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 09:13
nagorno-karabakh map (copyright by Shutterstock/Nemanja Cosovic)
nagorno-karabakh map (copyright by Shutterstock/Nemanja Cosovic)

The end-of-year commissioning of the 10 billion cubic metre (BCM) a year Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is unlikely to be disrupted by the ongoing clash between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the province of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Gas from offshore Azerbaijani gas fields in the Caspian Sea, is transported overland by the Trans Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) to connect at the Greek-Turkish border with the nearly completed TAP pipeline whose route will cross northern Greece and Albania before entering the Adriatic sea and coming ashore in southern Italy. This route crosses some of Europe’s most historically and environmentally sensitive territory.

SOCAR (the state oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic) reports on 8th October, that parts of the Azerbaijani sections of the Trans Caucasus pipeline had been targeted by Armenian forces. Platts, reported SOCAR representative Ibrahim Ahmadov as saying, "we have modelled possible scenarios and taken all necessary measures to prevent or reduce damage in case of another attack," before noting that a second "attempted attack" had occurred in the same area. Also, BP is reported by Platts on 7 October to be "deeply concerned" about targeting of pipeline infrastructure during this conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Despite the breaking of a fragile ceasefire mediated by Moscow, the TAP pipeline, the last pipeline link to bring gas to southern Europe, is too important to be jeopardised by local disputes.

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