Azeri gas pipeline to start pumping gas by 2020


The Southern Gas Corridor will start pumping gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe by 2020, its backers said on Thursday, despite the risk of delays to this option for reducing dependence on Russia.

Politicians and ministers meeting in Baku backed the $40 billion, 3,500-kilometer chain of pipelines, a step toward curbing Russia’s one-third share of Europe’s natural gas market.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is the project’s end piece, joining up with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline at the Turkish border, then crossing Greece and Albania to reach Italy. But the slow pace of work in Italy’s Puglia region and growing concern over Azerbaijan’s ability to honor its supply commitments – it faces domestic shortfalls – have knocked confidence in the project.