MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti/PRIME) – The European Union is planning to extend the Southern Corridor natural gas pipeline from Azerbaijan further inland from its current endpoint in southern Italy, the Russian Vedomosti newspaper reported Monday, citing a European Commission representative.
The Southern Corridor involves the construction of the TANAP-TAP gas pipeline system by 2019 from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field through Georgia, Turkey, Greece and Albania to the south of Italy. The planned supply is estimated at 6 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe.
Late last year, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger assessed the potential of this project as able to cover 20 percent of the EU's gas needs if further extended.
The construction plan approved for 2014-2020 includes gas pipelines between Spain and France to be paid for by a special 5.8-billion-euro fund and also to be filled with Caspian gas. According to the European Commission, the project will boost Europe’s gas supplies from Azerbaijan and possibly lead to imports from Turkmenistan or even Iran, if sanctions were to be lifted.