Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.17
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
Azerbaijani gas that will be transported to EU countries via the Trans Adriatic pipeline (TAP) is the only possible alternative to the Russian gas supply in the near future.
Despite the proposed options of gas supply to EU countries, only TAP is the real route that today has all necessary prerequisites for being implemented on schedule.
The latest proposal on the alternative gas supply to EU was put forward by Israel. This country proposed to construct a new gas pipeline via which Israeli gas from the Tamar field can be delivered to Cyprus, Greece and Italy.
Despite the attractiveness of this project, its implementation is fraught with a number of difficulties. In particular, the construction of such a gas pipeline will be very costly and Israel also confirms that. Moreover, it is unclear who will finance this project, since there is no guarantee that it will be profitable.
Moreover, this pipeline will have a small capacity - 8-12 billion cubic meters of gas per year - according to the estimations.
Steven MacMillan, an independent UK writer, researcher, editor of The analyst Report wrote in his article that the construction of the pipeline also presents some technical difficulties as sections of the route would run through deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea, resulting in EU officials requesting feasibility studies to be conducted.
MacMillan said the West is lacking options with regards to reducing dependence on Russian gas in the foreseeable future and is trying to find alternatives.
The author also said that Russia's Gazprom supplied Europe with 161.5 billion cubic meters of gas in 2013, adding that this gives the government in Moscow important leverage over many European nations due to their dependence on Russian energy.
MacMillan noted that this dependence will be present in the near future, further citing a report by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, according to which, there is limited scope for significantly reducing overall European dependence on Russian gas before the mid-2020s.
The mentioned report cited only a combination of liquefied natural gas and pipeline gas from Azerbaijan as possible alternatives for the deliveries.
Such a deduction can be agreed with, given Russia's reluctance to surrender its position as a major supplier of gas to Europe.
Although Russia has recently announced that it closed the "South Stream" project due to difficulties in its realization, it made another offer to deliver its gas to Europe's markets, namely, the proposal to build a gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Turkey, which will have a pumping capacity of 63 billion cubic meters.
Moreover, recently, Germany and Bulgaria have expressed their desire and need to renew the dialogue on the "South Stream" project. In particular, Bulgaria announced that it intends to address the issue at the EU summit.
Amid these developments and new proposals on gas supply to Europe that have been recently made, it becomes clear that only the project for supplying Azerbaijan's gas can be realized.
Everything happening only increases the importance and significance of Azerbaijani gas, which will indeed become a valuable contribution to the European energy security.
Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter:@AygunBadalova