Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 10
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
Caspian gas is one of the real sources for diversification of routes of gas supplies to Europe, Senior Adviser at Georgian National Oil and Gas Corporation, Liana Jervalidze said Sept. 10.
She made the remarks at an international conference titled the "Caspian Shelf".
Jervalidze said the Caspian states, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran, have large natural gas reserves.
"There have long been international sanctions against Iran, and development of large gas reserves in this country demands substantial investments," Jervalidze said. "However, in this case it will be easier to solve the gas transportation problem, as work is underway to create the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline."
The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project, or simply known as TANAP, has been created to transport gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field through Turkey up to the country's border with Europe.
The pipeline, which will have a transportation capacity of 16 bcm of gas per year, is projected to be commissioned in mid-2018.
By 2023, its capacity will be increased to 23 bcm, and to the maximum design capacity of 31 bcm by 2026.
Jervalidze said the situation is different with regard to Turkmenistan.
"The country is ready to export up to 30 bcm of gas per year, but this requires a corresponding infrastructure," she said. "Turkmenistan is developing its gas transportation infrastructure from the east to the west of the country, but at the same time stands ready to sell gas on its own borders."
"This in turn demands the development of the issue of creating the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline," the corporation's representative said.
The EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan started talks on the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline in September 2011.
In July 2013, following high-level talks in Ashgabat, a framework agreement was signed between Turkmenistan and Turkey. The agreement envisaged cooperation in the delivery of Turkmen gas to Turkey and further to Europe.
The project for laying a 300-kilometer gas pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea up to the shores of Azerbaijan is considered to be optimal for the delivery of Turkmen energy resources to the European market.
The Turkmen hydrocarbons can subsequently go to Turkey, which shares a border with the European countries.
Turkmenistan believes that its and Azerbaijan's consent is enough to construct a pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, the legal status of which still needs to be determined.
The project covers the territories of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Azerbaijan said it stands ready to provide its territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure to realize the project.