29 Apr 2022 12:16

Aliyev doesn't rule out increasing TAP capacity to 20 bcm by installing extra compressor stations

BAKU. April 29 (Interfax) - Gas shipments from Azerbaijan to Italy may be doubled, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said, adding that such a step will require enhancing the capacity of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

"The capacity of the TAP gas pipeline may be increased to 20 billion cubic meters [bcm] of gas by installing additional compressor stations. I do not want to go much into technical details now, but it will require the shareholders of the TAP pipeline to reach a joint opinion and to adopt a relevant investment decision. However, one ought to understand that this issue cannot be resolved within a month," Aliyev said at a meeting with participants in the South Caucasus: Development and Cooperation international conference on Friday.

If the capacity of TAP is increased, gas shipments to Italy may be doubled, he said.

"I discussed this issue both with Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi and Foreign Minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio," Aliyev said.

Some ten bcm of Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to Italy in 2022, he said.

"Azerbaijani gas is transported to Georgia, Tukey, Bulgaria, Italy, and Greece. More than nine bcm of gas were exported to Italy last year. We plan our exports based on the existing contracts, which include specific volumes, and do not extract additional amounts because we may not find a country which we can sell this gas to," the president said.

Apart from Italy, Azerbaijan has also received other European countries' requests to increase gas shipments, he said.

"Larger export volumes are required today. However, one needs to take a look at the gas sources in Azerbaijan. They will involve optimizing gas losses, introducing renewable energy sources [to free up gas mounts that can be exported] and commissioning new deposits. For instance, the Absheron deposit will produce 1.5 bcm of gas per year. We expect gas extraction to start at other deposits as well. At the same time, as we consider increasing gas exports, we also need to take the potential of gas pipelines into consideration... For example, TAP was designed differently. Gas exports to Italy were planned at ten bcm. But it is possible to enhance the capacity of TAP," Aliyev said.

Azerbaijan currently exports gas to Georgia, Turkey and to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor.

Gas deliveries to Europe through TAP, which is an element of the Southern Gas Corridor, began on December 31, 2020.

Azerbaijan exports its gas to Turkey via the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the South Caucasus Pipeline and to Georgia through the South Caucasus Pipeline and the Gazimagomed-Gazakh gas pipeline.

The Azerbaijani Energy Ministry projected the country's gas shipments to Turkey via the Southern Gas Corridor at 8.2 bcm in 2022 and to Europe at 9.1 bcm, excluding spot deliveries.

Azerbaijan exported 19.2 bcm of gas in 2021, including over eight bcm to Europe.