PFC Energy, a Washington D.C. based independent global consulting firm, specializing in the energy industry, says that ITGI (Interconnector Turkey – Greece – Italy) is the only project that can be realistically implemented in order to transport Azeri natural gas to Europe in accordance with Azerbaijan’s time schedule and gas availability. After the year 2020 and depending on the circumstances, a larger pipeline project, similar in scale to Nabucco, could be implemented. This conclusion was published in PFC Energy’s recent study titled “Europe’s Southern Corridor: What shape will it take?”.
The abovementioned study has taken into consideration and analyzed all the factors that could potentially influence the development of the Southern Corridor projects, namely Azerbaijan’s projected natural gas production within the next ten years, the selection criteria of the pipeline that will open the Corridor, the degree of technical maturity, their commercial viability and the security of supply that each one is offering.
According to the study, many projects are competing to transport natural gas to Europe from a multitude of different sources (Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq), however the only source certain to provide natural gas before 2020 is Shah Deniz II (Azerbaijan). The study underlines the fact that the lack of larger available gas volumes means that only one pipeline project can be currently implemented.
According to PFC Energy, at a later stage and as larger quantities of natural gas become available from additional gas fields in Azerbaijan, a series of pipelines connecting the Balkan countries could support a Nabucco-like interconnector.
Mr. Harry Sachinis, Chairman and CEO of DEPA S.A., one of the ITGI sponsors, said that: “The results of the study echo DEPA’s long standing views on the opening for the Southern Corridor. The ITGI system, comprising both IGB (Interconnector Greece – Bulgaria) and IGI (Interconnector Greece – Italy), is the most advanced and the most realistic project for the first phase of the Southern Corridor and fits very well with the strategic considerations of Azerbaijan, its partners and the European Union.”