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OilMonster

Natural Gas June 07, 2018 01:30:59 AM

Italy's New Government to Review TAP Gas Pipeline

Anil
Mathews
OilMonster Author
A review would likely create tensions between Italy and the developers of the 4.5 billion euro ($5.3 billion) TAP project, which include British oil group BP, Italy’s Snam and Spain’s Enagás.
Italy's New Government to Review TAP Gas Pipeline

SEATTLE (Oil Monster): A plan to build the final stage of a $40 billion international gas pipeline in Italy is under review, the country’s new environment minister said, calling the project “pointless”.

Italy is at the end of the Southern Gas Corridor, a pipeline taking gas from central Asia to western Europe. It is a cornerstone of the European Union’s energy security policy which aims to wean the bloc off Russian gas supplies.

Environment Minister Sergio Costa, sworn in on Friday as part of a ruling coalition of anti-establishment parties, said Italy’s involvement in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the final stage of the 3,500-km (2,200-mile) corridor, would be reviewed along with some other major projects.

“TAP is on the table and we are looking at it as a priority ...,” said Costa, who was nominated as minister by the coalition’s biggest party, the pro-environment 5-Star Movement.

“Given (our) energy policy, given falling gas demand, that project today looks pointless,” he added in written responses to a series of questions put to him on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A review would likely create tensions between Italy and the developers of the 4.5 billion euro ($5.3 billion) TAP project, which include British oil group BP, Italy’s Snam and Spain’s Enagás.

The TAP consortium did not reply to a Reuters request for comment.

It is unclear whether the minister’s comments will translate into action. Costa said any decision on TAP’s future would also involve other ministers.

The 5-Star also has more radical environmental policies than its coalition partner, the right-wing League.

The parties have said they will form a special committee to resolve any differences between them on the “realization and completion of public works of national significance”.

The League did not immediately respond to emailed requests for a comment.

In recent years demand for gas in Italy has risen but it is still well below its peaks of a decade ago.

Italy, which imports more than 90 percent of its needs, has key gas contracts with Russia, Libya, Algeria and Holland and previous governments have sought to create a European gas hub.

 Courtesy: www.reuters.com

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