Azerbaijan doesn’t see obstacle for bringing gas from Turkmenistan under Caspian Sea

Azerbaijan doesn’t see obstacle for bringing gas from Turkmenistan under Caspian Sea

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 26

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

In Azerbaijan we don't see an obstacle for bringing gas from Turkmenistan under the Caspian Sea, Vitaly Baylarbayov, deputy Vice President of SOCAR told EurActiv online magazine in an exclusive interview.

He was commenting on Russia's possible obstruction of such a project, due to the unfinished delimitation of the Caspian Sea

"We recognize that the borders of the sectors between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have not been delimited," he said. "But laying down a pipe doesn't in any way interfere with the legal status. It doesn't matter on which seabed the pipe is running, fees and taxes are not due offshore."

But not only gas from Turkmenistan can run through the Southern Gas Corridor, he said.

"There is gas in Iran, and very much gas," said Baylarbayov. "And there is a lot of gas in Iraq and Syria. And there is now gas in Israel, and there is gas in Cyprus."

The negotiations among the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline began in September 2011.

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.

The Southern Gas Corridor will allow Europe to diversify its hydrocarbon supply sources and strengthen energy security and also will allow Azerbaijan to obtain a new market in Europe. Azerbaijani gas is designed to open the Southern Gas Corridor.

As part of ensuring Azerbaijani gas supply to the European market, the final investment decision was made on Dec.17, 2013 on the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field's development. The gas produced at this field will first go to the European market (10 billion cubic meters), while six billion cubic meters of gas will be annually delivered to Turkey.

The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field was signed on June 4, 1996. The field's reserve is estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas and 240 million metric tons of condensate.

As part of the second stage of the field's development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.

Edited by CN

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Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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