January 22, 2009
BAAR, SWITZERLAND. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline project will start a seabed survey in the Adriatic Sea on the 26th of January to verify the route for the underwater section of the new gas pipeline.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline intends to transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea and Middle East regions via Greece and Albania, across the Adriatic Sea to Italy’s southern Puglia region and further to Western Europe. The offshore pipeline has a diameter of 1.05 meter and a length of approximately 115 kilometres.
Surveying the potential route is an important preparatory step before beginning the detailed engineering of the pipeline. “We have prepared almost all maps for the onshore section of the pipeline. Now, with the results of the marine survey, we will be able to decide precisely on the best route underwater. It means that the whole corridor for the pipeline will be identified,” said Christian Falck, Technical Director of the TAP project.
Previous reconnaissance marine survey for TAP project was carried out in the Adriatic Sea in October 2006. It provided preliminary information about the potential underwater corridor for the pipeline. The current marine survey will help to create a more precise map of the terrain in the Adriatic Sea, identify obstacles, potential risks and choose the safest areas for the installation of the subsea part of the pipeline.
The survey will be carried out by DeepOcean, a Norwegian company providing subsea services, which has experience working on similar projects in the North Sea. The exploration will be performed using the “Edda Freya”, a Norwegian vessel specialised in conducting this type of advanced surveys. The campaign will mobilise from Brindisi Harbour in Italy on the 26th of January and is expected to be completed in approximately two weeks, depending on the weather conditions.
The deepest section of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline is more than 810 meters below the surface. Researching seabed at such depth is a challenging task which requires involvement of specialised engineers from DeepOcean and use of the state-of-the-art marine survey equipment and sophisticated exploration methods.
After completing the marine survey, the TAP project will continue to work on engineering and planning, as well as securing a favourable regulatory framework for the pipeline project. “2009 will be a very active year for the TAP project. We are rapidly expanding - our team in Switzerland is now 40 persons and still growing. In a couple of months we are also opening country offices in Albania and Italy,” said Robert Klein, TAP Project Director.