Baku, Azerbaijan, May 19
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
Some political and business groups in Europe remain interested in the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which will allow to supply Turkmen gas to EU, Marco Siddi, Senior Research Fellow of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, who focuses on EU energy policy believes.
“But actual commitment [to this project] on the ground remains limited,” Siddi told Trend by email.
The analyst noted that prospects for the Trans-Caspian pipeline have not changed substantially in the last couple of two years as all the main hurdles remain in place: costs, competition from other projects, stagnating demand for gas in Europe, uncertainty about Turkmen supplies, undefined legal status of the Caspian Sea and Russian/Iranian opposition.
Moreover, according to the expert, additional obstacles emerged such as Russia's support of competing projects, which include Turkish Stream, envisaging Russian gas supplies to Turkey and further to Europe. Russian Gazprom started construction of the offshore section of the Turkish Stream pipeline in early May.
The project is being implemented within an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Turkey signed in October 2016, which envisages construction of two offshore strings of the gas pipeline, with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters each.
Furthermore, Siddi noted that recent developments in Turkey, which would be a transit country for Turkmen gas coming from Trans-Caspian pipeline, and Turkey's increasing confrontation with the EU create serious strategic headaches for European leaders.
The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline Project involving laying of a 300-km gas pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan, is optimal for the delivery of Turkmen energy resources to the European market. Further, Turkmen gas can be pumped to Turkey through existing pipelines, which has mutual borders with European countries.
The project may be implemented as a part of huge Southern Gas Corridor project designed to transport gas from the Caspian region to European countries.
The negotiations on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline among the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan began in September 2011.
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