EU expects decision on trans-Caspian pipeline by June

EU expects decision on trans-Caspian pipeline by June

A final decision on whether to go ahead with the trans-Caspian pipeline project may be made in June, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger told Russian Interfax news agency.

Oettinger said the negotiations between the European Commission and Turkmen and Azerbaijani officials were “intensive” yet “constructive”.

He added that the next meeting on the project will take place in a few days in Frankfurt.

The trans-Caspian pipeline is considered a part of the Nabucco project, designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to the EU. The 390-kilometer pipeline will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan where it will be linked to the Nabucco pipeline.

Nabucco is one of the pipeline projects designed to transport Azerbaijani gas to European markets that are part of the Southern Gas Corridor of pipelines, which aim to diversify gas supplies to European markets.

The design capacity of the trans-Caspian pipeline is linked to Europe’s demand for Turkmen gas and defining the Caspian Sea status between the two countries.

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

Though construction of a subsea gas pipeline is associated with the unresolved status of the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan believe implementation of this project is the two countries’ sovereign right.



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