ECONOMY

TAP pipeline venture open to Greek, Italian partners

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) venture would welcome Greek and Italian partners after a Greco-Italian pipeline was ruled out as an option for transporting Caspian Sea gas to Europe, Rikard Scoufias, TAP country manager for Greece, said.

?We?re open to discussing new partnerships at a shareholder level and looking at our host countries, we?d welcome a Greek and/or Italian partner,? Scoufias said in an interview in Athens on Thursday.

The planned pipeline will cross Greece from its border with Turkey to Italy via Albania.

A group led by BP Plc, which is developing the second phase of Azerbaijan?s Shah Deniz gas field, will choose between the Nabucco project and the South East Europe Pipeline, or SEEP, by the middle of this year.

The winner will then compete with TAP for rights to export Shah Deniz gas with a decision due by mid-2013.

The group, which also includes State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, Statoil ASA, Total SA, OAO Lukoil, Naftiran Intertrade and Turkiye Petrolleri AO, ruled out last month using Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) to carry Azeri gas.

[Bloomberg]