Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline, Turkey
Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TAP), also known as the Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline, is being laid in Turkey to transport oil from the Samsun terminal on the Black Sea to the Ceyhan terminal in the Mediterranean. The pipeline is expected to be commissioned in 2012.
The Trans-Anatolian Pipeline Company (TAPCO) is responsible for the construction and operation of the pipeline. TAPCO is a joint venture between the Italian company Eni and the Turkish group Çalik Enerji.
The project is estimated to cost $5bn to $6bn.
Partners involved in the major Turkish pipeline
Eni and Çalik signed an agreement to jointly plan and construct the 550km long pipeline in late 2005. The agreement resulted in Eni purchasing a 50% stake in TAPCO in September 2006.
In November 2006, Eni and Çalik signed an agreement with the Indian Oil Company Limited (IOCL) allowing the participation of the Indian company in the project. The board of IOCL approved the acquisition of a 12% stake in TAPCO in February 2007.
In August 2009, the Russian company Transneft agreed to supply crude oil for the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline. Eni and Calik signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Transneft and Rosneft to define the conditions for the crude oil supply.
Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Lukoil also showed their interest in the project.
Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TAP) route
The TAP provides an alternative route that bypasses the Bosporus Straits and the Dardanelles. The straits of Bosphorus and Dardanelles face marine traffic congestion.
The alternative route of the TAP will provide a more secure transportation of gas. Vessels transiting the Turkish Straits currently transport approximately 750 million barrels of crude oil annually, which is expected to increase to 1.2 billion barrels in the near future.
The TAP will cut down the tanker traffic in the straits by 50% and reduce the impact on the region's ecosystem when it becomes operational.
Construction of the extensive oil pipeline
The project involves the construction of a 550km long oil pipeline, a new unloading terminal and tank farm at Samsun, and an associated storage plant at Ceyhan. The pipeline will follow the existing Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline corridor between Sariz and Ceyhan sections.
The proposed route for the TAP was selected based on the pre-feasibility study conducted in 2004. Technical and commercial studies were completed by Çalik Enerji in the same year.
Çalik filed an application for the construction licence with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the General Directorate of Petroleum Affairs in March 2004. The feasibility study was concluded in March 2006 and the construction licence was granted in June 2006. The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) was completed in early 2007.
The first brick was laid for the TAP during an official ceremony held in Ceyhan in April 2007. In October 2009, a joint statement was signed in Milan between Italy, Turkey and the Russian Federation for the construction of the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
The cooperation agreement ensures the countries will guarantee the stable and balanced regulatory framework needed for the construction of the pipeline.
The pipeline will be built along existing pipeline routes where ever possible to mitigate the damage to the environment and the existing infrastructure.
Infrastructure of the Turkish Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TAP)
The pipeline will have four pumping stations and one pressure reducing station. It will have a maximum initial transfer capacity of one million barrels a day.
The capacity can be gradually increased to 1.5 million barrels a day (about 75 million tons a year). The diameter of the pipe will vary from 42 inches to 48 inches.
The terminal in Samsun will have a storage capacity of six million barrels. The storage facility in Ceyhan will be capable of storing eight million barrels. The unloading and loading terminals will allow the use of VLCC tankers. The crude oil transported by the TAP can be delivered to the existing Ceyhan Loading Terminal.