A new supply route to pump Central Asian natural gas to the European Union could eventually meet up to a fifth of EU needs, the European Commission said Tuesday.
"Through its further enlargement, the corridor will have the potential to meet up to 20 percent of the EU's gas needs in the long term," European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said in a statement.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: "This is a major milestone for the diversification of our energy supplies, to the benefit of European consumers and businesses."
From about 2019, Azerbaijan's giant Shah Deniz-2 is expected to supply 16 billion cubic meters per year to Europe, including 6 bcm for Turkey.
The gas will be shipped across Turkey and eventually into Italy through the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline, which will link to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, whose partners include BP and Statoil.