Competition between the Nabucco and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortia, the two projects vying to transport the 10-20 bcm/y gas to the EU via Turkey is hotting up. TAP appears to be nearing an agreement with its transit states, and attracting more diplomatic support as Nabucco stagnates. The struggle between the two became more fierce after the Shah Deniz partners, led by BP, SOCAR, Total and Statoil, who control the 10 bcm/y that will be available for exports around 2018 said they would select the final transit route by June 2013 at the latest.

TAP was perceived by most of the Shah Deniz partners as the best commercially viable option, but had been unable to convince the EU states it was supposed to link of its strategic necessity. Both Italy and Greece had supported the ITGI (Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy) project which effectively duplicated TAP’s route with one major difference – it crossed the Otranto Straits to Italy via Greece, not via Albania. (CONTINUED - 289 WORDS)