EU regulators clear Greece, TAP gas pipeline deal


European Union regulators approved on Thursday a deal between Greece and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) which will bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, saying the project was in line with the bloc's state aid rules.

The 870-km (540-mile) pipeline, which will link Azerbaijan's giant Shah Deniz II field with Italy, crossing through Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, is the largest project to bring new supplies to European consumers.

"The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will bring new gas to the EU and increase the security of energy supply for Southeast Europe," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Veestager said in a statement.

"The investment incentives offered by the Greek Government are limited to what is necessary to make the project happen and in compliance with state aid rules."

As part of the Greek deal, TAP will be granted a specific tax regime for 25 years. TAP is owned by BP, Azeri state energy firm SOCAR, Snam, Belgian company Fluxys , Italy's Enagas and Axpo.