MEDGAZ completes marine survey for the pipeline linfing Algeria and Europe, via Spain

  • The most modern seabed mapping technology was used.
  • This was the first time that an autonomous submarine was mobilized in Europe for this type of survey.

Madrid, 24/09/2002

MEDGAZ, the company to study the feasibility of building a new gas pipeline between Algeria and Europe via Spain, has successfully completed this phase of the project, in which a marine survey of the Mediterranean seabed was conducted in order to seek a suitable pipeline corridor.

The survey of this area was carried out using two vessels -Odin Finder and Rig Supporter- and the most modern seabed mapping technologies were used. In fact, this is the first time in Europe that an unmanned submarine was deployed, known as HUGIN 3000, to perform this mission. This submarine, also called AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle), is the only one its kind operating commercially in the entire world. Its leading-edge technology allows it to operate independently and carry out its task without receiving any additional instructions. However, it can be instructed to revise its mission using acoustic communications from the mother ship whenever necessary.

After successfully completing this phase, which required overcoming a number of geological obstacles in record-breaking water depths exceeding 2,100 meters, a suitable pipeline corridor was found crossing the Alborán Sea area on the Western Mediterranean. This pipeline, which will stretch from Beni Saf in Algeria to the coast of Almería, in Spain, will be able to transport natural gas at the rates of 8 to 16 BCM (Billion Cubic Meters) per year.

MEDGAZ is a company formed by CEPSA and SONATRACH and with stakes held by other major European companies: BP, Endesa, ENI, Gaz de France and Total Fina Elf. The project was included by the European Commission in the proposed List of Projects of Common Interest in the energy sector, as it is considered of considerable importance for energy supplies in Europe.


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