June 3, 2014 / 6:03 AM / 5 years ago

Total and E.ON plan to withdraw from TAP gas pipeline project - SOCAR

View of the logo of French oil giant Total in front of the oil refinery of Donges, near Nantes, December 20, 2013. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

BAKU (Reuters) - France’s Total and E.ON of Germany plan to withdraw from the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) project designed to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas, Azeri state energy company SOCAR officials said.

“Total and E.ON plan to withdraw from the TAP project,” Vagif Aliyev, SOCAR’s investment department head, told journalists on the sidelines of the Caspian Oil & Gas conference in the Azeri capital Baku.

He did not elaborate further. Total and E.ON were not immediately available for comments.

A second SOCAR senior official, who did not want to be named, confirmed the information.

The TAP project aims to transport gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea, one of the world’s largest gas fields, by the end of the decade.

The 870 kilometre (545 mile) pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before reaching southern Italy.

TAP’s shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (16 percent), Total (10 percent), E.ON (9 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

Reporting by Nailia Bagirova and Margarita Antidze; Editing by Richard Pullin

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