New Trans-Caspian Project?

New Trans-Caspian Project?

Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the European Union are drafting two documents that will allow to deliver Caspian and in particular Turkmen gas to Europe, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said on Wednesday.

According to him, the two resource-rich Caspian littoral states and the EU are expected to complete the preparation of a political document to support the Southern Gas Corridor of pipelines, as well as an inter-governmental agreement on trans-Caspian gas pipeline, before the end of the year.

There is no direct agreement on the implementation of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline project yet. However, in September 2011 the European Union issued a mandate to start talks to reach an agreement with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on building the conduit.

The 300-kilometer pipeline will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan where it will be linked to the Southern Gas Corridor. Negotiations between Turkmenistan and the EU and other countries on the construction of the pipeline have been ongoing since the late 1990s.

During negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, the EU will discuss bilateral agreements outlining the legal obligations of the signatories necessary for Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to construct and operate the trans-Caspian pipeline. Also on the agenda will be the legal framework to be applied to the issue of filling the gas pipeline from

Turkmenistan, including the recognition of commercial agreements.

The Southern Gas Corridor is a priority EU energy project diversifying energy supply routes and sources and increasing EU energy security.

Turkmen president: New opportunities emerged to supply gas to Europe

New opportunities have become available to supply gas to Europe with the start of natural gas production on the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea, Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said Tuesday.

“Possible options for natural gas supply to Europe are being studied,” he said in an interview with Turkish media ahead of his visit to Ankara.

Earlier it was reported that Turkmenistan stated its willingness to provide the large-scale Nabucco project initiated by the EU with about 40 billion cubic meters of gas annually, of which one-fourth can be provided by Malaysian Petronas operating on an offshore block of Turkmenistan. The rest of the volume could be provided by the 1,000-kilometer East-West gas pipeline, which is under construction in the country’s territory and originates from the Galkynysh field and ends off the coast of the Caspian Sea.

A pipeline stretching about 300 kilometers on the Caspian seabed to the Azerbaijani coast, the trans-Caspian pipeline, is required to link Turkmen resources to Nabucco.

The Nabucco project covers the territories of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria. Its implementation and cost are reviewed from time to time. Maximum capacity is 31 billion cubic meters of gas.

Potential buyers are Nabucco consortium members Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Turkish Botas, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz and German RWE.

There is no direct agreement on the implementation of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline project yet. However, in September 2011 the European Union issued a mandate to start talks to reach an agreement between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Negotiations are underway.

Ashgabat believes that consent of the parties (Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan), whose territory is covered by the project, is enough to lay a pipeline through the Caspian, the legal status of which has not been yet determined.

Azerbaijan has expressed its willingness to provide its territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure to implement the project. Representatives of the Azerbaijani state energy firm Socar made this statement at a recent energy conference in Ashgabat.

 

 

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