31 Jan 2018 09:24

Gazprom could use next 10 bcm of TAP capacity to supply gas to EU - EC official

VIENNA. Jan 31 (Interfax) - Gazprom cannot use the first 10 billion cubic meters of the capacity of the future Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), since this capacity has secured a legislative exemption from access by third parties and is intended to deliver gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, the director of the European Commission's directorate for the internal energy market, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt told reporters at the European Gas Conference in Vienna.

However, the Russian gas giant could use the next 10 bcm of TAP capacity that is expected to be built if it buys this capacity at a public auction, Borchardt said, adding that the pipeline's capacity might be doubled in 2022.

Gazprom previously did not rule out the possibility of using TAP to supply gas to Europe that it plans to export via the TurkStream pipeline, saying that TAP "should not lie empty."

However, questions asked at conferences regarding negotiations with Gazprom on this issue remained unanswered by the participants in the TAP project.

On Tuesday at the European Gas Conference, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev also essentially left this question unanswered, remaking that the company is studying various options for supplying gas from TurkStream to Europe, including in the direction of Baumgarten, Austria.

Gazprom is also considering shipping TurkStream gas to Europe by using the Poseidon pipeline, but it will only be built in 2023-2024, while TurkStream will be completed by the end of 2019. TAP is already under construction and will be finished by 2020.