ECONOMY

ITGI is ?strategically important,? minister says

Greece and Italy still consider the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) pipeline project for transporting Caspian Sea gas to Europe ?strategically important,? Greece?s Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou said this week.

The BP Plc-led group of companies developing the second phase of the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan on February 20 ruled out using ITGI to transfer gas to the European Union.

The venture also comprises the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, Statoil ASA, Total SA, OAO Lukoil, Naftiran Intertrade and Turkiye Petrolleri AO.

?We continue to believe that ITGI is the most mature of the pipeline projects,? Papaconstantinou said in an interview in Athens.

?We?re willing to continue discussing with the Shah consortium potential solutions that take advantage of this maturity and that come closer to the venture?s concerns about commercial issues as well as ITGI?s shareholding structure.?

ITGI is a venture of Greek natural gas supplier DEPA and Italy?s Edison SpA. BP said on February 22 that the Shah Deniz group will choose between the OMV AG-led Nabucco project and the BP-proposed South East Europe Pipeline, or SEEP, by the middle of this year.

[Bloomberg]