ECONOMY

TAP beat Nabucco on almost all fronts

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project outscored rival Nabucco West on virtually all fronts to win the race to carry Azeri gas into Europe, a junior minister at Italy’s Industry Ministry told Reuters on Monday.

Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR and its partners in the Shah Deniz II gas field, including BP and Statoil, said on Friday they had selected TAP.

The project, linking a Turkish pipeline to southern Italy via Greece and Albania, plans to deliver 10 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas to Europe each year beginning in 2019.

BP said there was a “substantial” commercial difference between the two competing pipeline projects, including the cost of shipping the Azeri gas and gas prices in the respective markets.

The head of Austria’s OMV, part of the rival Nabucco project, said last week the TAP project had been chosen because of high gas prices in Italy and Greece.

“It was not for high gas prices in Italy and Greece,” the junior minister, Claudio De Vincenti, said in an interview.

TAP beat Nabucco on seven out of eight evaluation criteria, De Vincenti said, naming them as market opportunities, timing, scalability, management operability, funding available, project quality and transparency.

“It’s a victory for Europe. There are no losers and we don’t feel like winners,” De Vincenti said.