DEPA still committed to ITGI gas pipeline

The Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) is convinced that the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) pipeline is the best solution for transporting Caspian Sea gas to Europe, Harry Sachinis, DEPA chairman and chief executive officer, said on Tuesday.

?The ITGI project presents the best solution for the opening of the Southern Gas Corridor and for Azerbaijan, or other gas producing countries, to export their gas to Europe,? Sachinis said in an e-mailed statement.

The group of companies developing the second phase of the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan on Tuesday ruled out using ITGI for transferring gas to the European Union.

The group comprises BP Plc, Socar, Statoil ASA, Total SA, OAO Lukoil, Naftiran Intertrade and Turkiye Petrolleri AO.

?We understand that this is just a provisional decision,? Sachinis said in the e-mail.

ITGI is ?the most advanced? of the gas pipeline projects entering the European Union by its southeastern borders and is ?the only one? with all the necessary permits and agreements in place, and DEPA remains committed to continuing its development, Sachinis said.

ITGI is a venture of DEPA and Italy?s Edison Spa.

Both the Italian and Greek governments on Tuesday reiterated their support for the project which they said also has the potential to furnish the European market with natural gas from the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean regions where Cyprus and Israel have recently discovered gas deposits.

Earlier, Greek newspaper Imerisia had reported that DEPA may buy a stake of as much as 15 percent in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline venture, citing unidentified people in the Greek Energy Ministry.