Azeri gas deal inked for Greek section

Azeri gas deal inked for Greek section

ATHENS - Anadolu Agency
Azeri gas deal inked for Greek section

Around two-thirds of the Trans- Adriatic Pipeline – some 550 kilometers – will be on Greek soil. REUTERS photo

The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium and the Greek natural gas transmission network operator (DESFA) signed an agreement late July 3 under which DESFA will operate and maintain the Greek section of the pipeline, which will traverse northern Greece.

TAP’s Greece representative, Rikard Scoufias, said the deal was finalized between TAP and DESFA after nine months of negotiations.

This move constitutes the first concrete benefit for Greece from the decision by the Shah Deniz II consortium to choose TAP for the transmission of gas from Azerbaijan to Europe.

DESFA and TAP will also cooperate for the interconnection and interoperability of the two natural gas networks, as part of the Host Government Agreement signed last week in Athens. Around two-thirds of TAP – some 550 kilometers – will be on Greek soil.

The operators of the Shah Deniz II field – BP, Statoil, Azeri state energy firm SOCAR, Total, and others – officially announced June 28 in Baku that they had chosen TAP to carry Azeri gas to Europe across Greece, Albania and Turkey, rather than the Nabucco West project. The TAP partners are Switzerland’s AXPO Holding, Statoil and Germany’s E.ON Ruhrgas for now.

Meanwhile, Azeri SOCAR said June 15 it had started talks with the Greek government on purchasing the country’s natural gas grid operator DESFA, after being the only bidder in a failed tender for the asset sale. “The tender procedure on the privatization of DESFA is over and SOCAR has started talks with the Greek government,” SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said, Reuters reported.