Italian offshore services company Saipem has completed offshore installation works in the Adriatic Sea at the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project.
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II offshore field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea to Europe.
The 878 km long pipeline connects with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border in Kipoi, crosses Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG, the company that manages the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project, said Tuesday it had successfully completed the 105 km long offshore section of the pipeline across the Adriatic Sea.
"This milestone includes several deliverables, such as the offshore installation of 36-inch pipes by Castoro Sei, Saipem’s semi-submersible pipelaying vessel, the above-water-tie-in with the onshore infrastructure in Albanian waters, as well as hydro testing the asset to ensure it is safe and ready for operations," TAP AG said.
Activities to connect the Italian and Albanian coasts began in mid-January 2020, with pipes being welded and tested onboard Castoro Sei and then laid onto the bottom of the Adriatic Sea in a continuous stretch, starting from the Italian shores towards Albania.
Luca Schieppati, TAP Managing Director, said: “Completing the offshore pipeline section marks another key milestone towards the finalization of our project. Once operational, TAP will bring a new source of natural gas to Europe, supporting decarbonization, energy security, and diversification. I am proud that these technically complex works have been conducted in line with the highest health and safety standards.”
John Haynes, TAP Project Director, added: “These are unprecedented times for all of us and the energy industry is engaged in a delicate balancing act: handling operations on the ground with extreme care, while continuing to provide the energy needed for our homes and businesses. The TAP project is now more than 95% complete and we look forward to crossing the finish line by the end of this year.”
Approximately 9,000 pipes of 36-inch diameter have been used for TAP’s offshore section, weighing circa 100,000 tonnes in total. The pipes have been laid on the Adriatic seabed: 25 km in Italian territorial waters, 43 km in international waters and 37 km in Albanian territorial waters.
The deepest point of the pipeline is approximately 810 metres beneath sea level. Saipem’s Castoro Sei laid an average of 1.2 km pipes per day, reaching a peak of 2.8 km in a single day.
First gas deliveries to Europe via TAP will start by the end of 2020.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).