TODAY.AZ / Analytics

Turkmen gas a step close to Europe

03 March 2015 [11:25] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Gulgiz Dadashova

Europe has intensified its energy dialogue with the Caspian littoral states - Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan amid worsening relations with Russia, in view of attracting energy-rich countries to secure the EU energy security.

Since the first disruptions in gas supply last year, Europe has positioned the Southern Gas Corridor that will bring blue energy to Europe from the Caspian Sea region and potentially the Middle East as its priory focus.

The final section of this network will be the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, but its origin may start not from the Shah-Deniz field of Azerbaijan but Turkmen fields joining the route with the Trans Caspian Pipeline.

Ashgabat, which was quite doubtful over European direction of its gas exports, now seems to stand strong on the diversification of its export routes. Gazprom’s cutting its gas imports from Turkmenistan has forced Ashgabat to find new export markets and Europe does not want to miss such a chance.

“Together with the respective counterparts from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan the European Commission is looking into the possibility of holding a meeting in the trilateral format in the coming months,” a source in the European Commission told Trend on February 26.

The Trans-Caspian pipeline project is regarded as the optimal option for delivering Turkmen gas to European markets. The project envisages the laying of around 300 kilometers long gas pipeline under the Caspian to the shores of Azerbaijan. Further Turkmen can be transported to Turkey which has mutual borders with European countries.

The biggest obstacle to any deal between Turkmenistan and Europe on the Caspian gas supply could be Russia and Iran, while Azerbaijan- the initiator of the major energy projects in the region, favors the project.

Turkmenistan, with its current export routes to Russia, China and neighboring Iran, pins great hopes on its giant natural gas reserves, the world's fourth largest.

Turkmenistan is quite capable of providing the European market with necessary volumes of gas given abundant natural gas reserves and the opportunities of developing the export pipeline infrastructure, the Turkmen Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources reported on March 2.

"A huge resource base of hydrocarbons onshore and offshore allows Turkmenistan to increase the exports of natural gas to the world markets, to develop the new routes of its exports in the eastern and the European directions," the statement read.

Turkmenistan actively works to supply from 10 to 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year to the European market, the ministry reported, noting that the possibility of building the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is being considered.

The negotiations on this project implementation are being actively conducted at various levels with the European Union, the European Commission, certain other countries and companies.

Azerbaijan and Turkey are among active supporters of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline that will eventually join the Southern Gas Corridor.

Turkmenistan has signed an outline deal with Turkey to supply gas to a new pipeline that could help Europe reduce its dependence on the Russian gas imports. The two countries inked a framework agreement last November to supply gas to the proposed Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP).

Meanwhile, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow is expected to visit Turkey on March 3, which experts forecast will mull energy exports to Europe.

Europe, as a solid and big customer has its own preferences and as long as it seeks to diversify its energy sources the energy countries will step towards Europe.


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