International gas market development is towards very long transportation distances (3000–6000 km); the only suitable onshore technology to conjugate economics, large amount of gas conveyed and possibility to exploit remote gas fields appears to be the Very High Pressure (P > 14 MPa), Very High Strength Steel (Steel grade X100 API 5L [1] equivalent) option. Eni Group is going to sponsor a 3 years long project, called TAP (Trasporto gas Alta Pressione) [High Pressure gas Transportation] aimed to demonstrate: • economic evaluation; • technology reliability; • real possibility to build Very High Pressure Pipeline. The project itself is framed into five logical areas: • Evaluation of the applicability of alternative technological solution in extreme enterprise; • Technological innovation, mainly within Eni Group; • FEED (Front End Engineering Development) for strategic route gas pipeline and comparison with LNG option; • Demonstrative construction of a High Strength Steel (X80) pipeline section on Snam Rete Gas Network in Italy; • Demonstrative construction of a Very High Strength Steel (X100 API equivalent) provisioning pilot section pipeline. To achieve this object Eni has involved: • Eni Gas & Power Division as Business Developer; • Snamprogetti as Technology Developer; • Aquater, Enidata, Enitecnologie, Saipem, Snam Rete Gas as specific item expertises; • CSM and Universita` di Bergamo as high qualified partners for lab and full scale testing; • Pipe steel makers and coating producers as fundamental partners to develop new solutions. TAP, within Eni Group, is the final step of a long development research and innovation activity started 8 years ago with two explorative “Long distance pipeline High Grade Steel” projects on Very High Strength Steel performances (strength, toughness, weldability) carried out mainly with the support of Snam, Snamprogetti and Saipem. TAP final goal is to collect, transfer, develop all the possible technological solutions to be ready for building “The pipeline network for Very High Pressure Transportation”.

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