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Major russian gas pipelines to europe
Major Russian Gas Pipelines to Europe, by Samuel Baily via Wikimedia

Last Tuesday we learned:  
Russia and Ukraine edge closer to ‘gas war’
Gazprom demands payment of half a billion pounds in arrears in move seen by some as punishment for aligning with EU

By Shaun Walker in Moscow, theguardian.com, Tuesday 29 October 2013 “The possibility of a new ‘gas war’ between Russia and Ukraine inched closer on Tuesday, as the Russian state energy giant Gazprom complained that Kiev had outstanding debts of over half a billion pounds and demanded swift payment…

This has, of course, led to fears by Europeans of a repeat of previous conflicts which led to “crises in 2006 and 2009 in which Russia turned off the gas to Ukraine, leaving many European nations that rely on pipelines passing through the country without energy in the middle of winter.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/29/russia-ukraine-gazprom-gas-war See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia–Ukraine_gas_disputes

And, so we return to pipelines. They don’t appear the most exciting topic but as seen above they are important geo-strategically, as well as environmentally. They seem to be all over the place already and more are in the pipeline, so to speak. Since they are mostly underground you may not know where they are. They often, if not always, leak into their surroundings, and in the worst instances there are major leaks, fires, and explosions – sometimes even due to terrorism or sabotage, sometimes due to poor upkeep.    

The loss of natural gas in Europeans countries during previous Russian spats with Ukraine opened up a realization that Russia could, in theory, blackmail European countries by threatening to cut off their heat in the dead of winter. And so, a new focus developed on alternative sources of Natural Gas. It may well have given impetus to the insane project of new nuclear reactors in the UK, as well. In short Russia seems to have shot themselves and Europe in the foot (or if it was Ukraine’s fault then Ukraine shot Russia and Europe in the foot).    

This topic was discussed in Natural Gas Europe.com:  
American expert: ‘Implementation of the Southern Corridor project will be the beginning of the policy to end dependence from Russia” posted September 30th, 2013 by Natural Gas Europe: “The project of the Southern Corridor is of special importance for Europe’s energy security.  In view of dependence of Central and Eastern Europe on Russia’s gas, the diversification of energy supply is necessary. Azerbaijan is the best option to deliver gas to the European markets,”  Article continues here: http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/southern-corridor-beginning-of-end-dependence-from-russia

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline, also called TAP Pipeline, not to be confused with the older, defunct, Trans Arabian Pipeline (Tapline), is classifed as part of this Southern Corridor:    

[Updated image from EIA gov Oct. 2015]

Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary to Sign Pact for New Corridor October 23rd, 2013

Croatia, Hungary and Ukraine agreed to invest in a new corridor that will connect to the planned Trans Adriatic Pipeline, Reuters reports on Wednesday.

‘The new infrastructure will enable us to send gas to eastern European markets,’ Croatian Deputy Foreign Minister Josko Klisovic said by phone to Reuters, specifying that the three countries will ‘soon’ sign a pact.

According to Klisovic, the project may be financed by European funds, as it would help the three countries diversifying their supplies. Croatian Deputy Foreign Minister does not exclude a role of private companies.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline’s (TAP) selection by the Shah Deniz Consortium established the long-awaited Southern Corridor Route and gave hopes for a new substantial diversification route in the region.

TAP emerged as the winner in a long race, beating the Nabucco project in June. The decision surprised some experts, as the European Parliament had previously endorsed the Nabucco project. http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/ukraine-croatia-hungary-new-corridor (bold added for emphasis)

The Russian-Ukraine spats over Natural Gas are clearly why “the project may be financed by European funds, as it would help the three countries diversifying their supplies

As explained by Natural Gas Europe:
Trans Adriatic Pipeline Assumes Greater Regional Role, October 14th, 2013:
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline’s (TAP) selection by the Shah Deniz Consortium established the long-awaited Southern Corridor Route and gave hopes for a new substantial diversification route for the whole of Europe.
TAP is in fact a piece of larger picture together with the Shah Deniz II consortium (SD II), the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), SNAM’s gas infrastructure company and the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) that all together have the dynamics to fulfill the opening of the Caspian fields to European markets. The total investment projects for the above is more than $50 billion and involve ten international companies and stretch over 4,000 km in distance.
The Balkans would also be served by TAP through the combination of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB)

Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP), … would link TAP from Albania to Montenegro-Bosnia-Croatia and … on through to interconnectors in Central Europe. http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/trans-adriatic-pipeline-assumes-greater-regional-role

Ionian Adriatic Pipeline
Location: Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia
From:  Fier, Albania
Passes through Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina
To:  Split, Croatia

The Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) is a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Western Balkans. It would run from Fier in Albania though Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Split in Croatia.  In Fier, IAP would be connected with the planned Trans Adriatic Pipeline. Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG has signed memorandums with understanding with developers of the IAP project, including Plinacro (Croatia), BH-Gas (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and governments of Montenegro and Albania.[1][2][3]

In Split, the pipeline would be connected with the existing gas transmission system of Croatia. In addition, it may be connected with other new gas infrastructure, including the proposed Adria LNG terminal in Krk.[1][2]

The length of pipeline would be 516 kilometres (321 mi). The pipeline would be bi-directional and its capacity would be 5 billion cubic metres (180 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year.[1][2]

The ministerial declaration on the IAP project was signed on 25 September 2007 in the framework of the Energy Community.[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionian_Adriatic_Pipeline (references at link) NB: Krk is an island.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP; Albanian: Gazsjellësi Trans-Adriatik, Greek: Αδριατικός Αγωγός Φυσικού Αερίου, Italian: Gasdotto Trans-Adriatico) is a pipeline project to transport natural gas from the Caspian sea (Azerbaijan), starting from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further to Western Europe.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline project was announced in 2003 by Swiss energy company EGL Group (now named Axpo). The feasibility study was concluded in March 2006. Two options were investigated: a northern route through Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania, and a southern route through Greece and Albania, which finally was considered to be more feasible. In March 2007, the extended basic engineering for the pipeline was completed.[1]

On 13 February 2008, EGL Group and the Norwegian energy company Statoil signed an agreement to set up Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG, a joint venture to develop, build and operate the pipeline.[2] In June 2008, the project company filed an application with the Greek authorities to build a 200 kilometres (120 mi) section of the pipeline from Thessaloniki to the Greek-Albanian border.[3] In January 2009, the TAP project carried out a marine survey in the Adriatic Sea to verify the offshore route for the future gas pipeline.[4] A route assessment survey in Albania started in July 2009.[5] In March 2009, an intergovernmental agreement between Italy and Albania on energy cooperation mentioned TAP as a project of common interest for both countries. In January 2010, TAP opened country offices in Greece, Albania and Italy.[6] In March 2010, TAP submitted an application to Italian authorities for inclusion into the Italian gas network.[7]

On 20 May 2010, it was announced that E.ON becomes a partner in the project.[8] The deal was successfully closed on 7 July 2010.[9] In March 2010, TAP submitted an application to Italian authorities for inclusion into the Italian gas network.[7] In November 2010, TAP started a route refinement survey in northern Greece in preparation for the environmental impact assessment.[10] On 7 September 2011, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP AG) submitted its EU Third Party Access Exemption applications in all three host countries. Exemption will allow TAP AG to enter into long term ship-or-pay gas transportation agreements with the shippers of Shah Deniz II gas.[11][12] The exemptions were granted on 16 May 2013.[13][14]

In February 2012, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline was the first project to be pre-selected and to enter exclusive negotiations with the Shah Deniz Consortium.[15] In August 2012, consortium partners BP, SOCAR and Total S.A. signed a funding agreement with TAP’s shareholders, including an option to take up to 50% equity in the project.[16] On 22 November 2012, the TAP consortium and Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline’s partners signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes a cooperation framework between the two parties.[17] In June 2013, the project was chosen as a route for gas from Shah Deniz II over the competing Nabucco West project.[18]

Political support

Since it will enhance energy security and diversify gas supplies for several European markets, the TAP project is supported by the European institutions and seen as a ‘Project of Common Interest’ and a part of the Southern Gas Corridor….[19] On 28 September 2012, Albania, Greece and Italy confirmed their political support for the pipeline by signing a memorandum of understanding.[20] In February 2013, Greece, Italy and Albania signed an intergovernmental agreement.[21]

Technical description

The pipeline starts at the Greece–Turkey border at Kipoi, Evros, where it will be connected with the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline. It will cross Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea and come ashore in Italy near San Foca. The total length of the pipeline will be 867 kilometres (539 mi), of which 547 kilometres (340 mi) in Greece, 211 kilometres (131 mi) in Albania, 104 kilometres (65 mi) in offshore, and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in Italy. The offshore leg will be laid at a maximum depth of 810 metres (2,660 ft).[22]

The initial capacity of the pipeline will be about 10 billion cubic metres (350 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year, with the option to expand the capacity up to 20 billion cubic metres (710 billion cubic feet).[2] It will use 48-inch (1,200 mm) pipes for pressure of 95 bars (9,500 kPa) on the onshore section and 36-inch (910 mm) pipes for pressure of 145 bars (14,500 kPa) on the offshore section.[22]

TAP also plans to develop an underground natural gas storage facility in Albania and offer a reverse flow possibility of up to 8.5 billion cubic metres (300 billion cubic feet). These features will ensure additional energy security for the Southeastern Europe.[23][24] Total construction costs are expected to be about €1.5 billion.[2] TAP is ready to commence pipeline operations in time for first gas exports from Shah Deniz II (expected in 2017–2018).[11][25]

Supply sources

The pipeline would be supplied by natural gas from the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas field development in the Azerbaijani section of Caspian Sea through the South Caucasus Pipeline and the planned Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP).[26][27]

Project company

Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG is a joint venture company registered in Baar, canton Zug, Switzerland, with a purpose of planning, developing and building the TAP pipeline. [28] Managing Director of the company is Kjetil Tungland.[29]
Shareholders of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline are:
Axpo (Switzerland, 42.5%)
Statoil (Norway, 42.5%)
E.ON Ruhrgas (Germany, 15%)[8][9] Shah Deniz partners BP, SOCAR and Total S.A. have an otion for 50% shares in the company. If implemented, BP and SOCAR will have 20% of shares both while Total will have 10%.[30] Fluxys has an option on an unspecified stake.[18]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_Adriatic_Pipeline (references at link)