France's Total and Germany's E.ON are looking to withdraw from the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, an official working for the project's major stakeholder, Azerbaijan's state-owned Socar, said on the sidelines of the Caspian Oil and Gas conference.
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"They plan to leave the project," the official said, declining further comments.
Total currently holds a 10% stake and E.ON a 9% stake in the project, which will ship gas from the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan across the Adriatic Sea to southern Europe.
A spokesman for E.ON said by email that the company keeps its portfolio of assets under continuous review.
"Such review may or may not result in us deciding from time to time to evaluate a disposal of certain assets in the portfolio," he said.
Total did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for the TAP pipeline said that it did not want to comment on the possibility of a sale.
But she said that overall the project "remains on track to receive first gas when Shah Deniz II deliveries begin."
BP, Socar and Statoil are the major stakeholders in TAP with 20% shares each. Belgian Fluxys holds a 16% stake and Swiss Axpo 5%.
Late last year the consortium passed a resolution to construct the 870 km TAP pipeline, which will connect with the Trans Anatolian pipeline (TANAP), near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, then cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in southern Italy.
Construction plans were boosted late last year when the Shah Deniz consortium approved development of stage 2 of the project, which will supply gas to be shipped via the route.
BP has said previously that the production and pipeline projects will support gas sales contracts of a total 10 billion cubic meters/year of Shah Deniz gas for 25 years to customers in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria, and a further 6 Bcm to customers in Turkey.
Total, however, has pulled out of the Shah Deniz II project, selling its 10% stake to Turkey's TPAO for $1.5 billion in a deal announced at the end of May. This could reduce the benefits the company sees in a pipeline designed to transport the Shah Deniz II gas.
Germany's E.ON, like other major European utilities, has faced declining demand for gas in its core western Europe market in recent years.
Similar stories appear in European Gas Daily See more information at http://www.platts.com/Products/europeangasdaily