Turkmen-Russian strategic partnership: what does this mean for Nabucco?

Oil&Gas Materials 24 December 2009 21:47 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 23 / Trend H.Hasanov /

Brussels has something to think about. Just a week ago, Turkmenistan opened the gas route in China, today returned a strategic partnership with Russia in this sector and additional pipes to Iran will be opened soon.

Thus, while securing the prospect of its increase in the coming years, Ashgabat could actually restore the export gas balance for 2010.

According to the Western diplomat, "it is possible that Ashgabat will lower interest in Nabucco, towards which Kremlin is ambivalent. Ashgabat declared that Europe can rely on Turkmen gas to fill Nabucco the pipeline first in the peak of the glow of relations with Russia because of the accident, and after due to the requirement to revise the long-term contracts. The Nabucco project worth 7.9 billion euros includes the supply of gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to the European Union.

On the backdrop of worsening relations with Moscow, the Turkmen market began to review Nabucco shareholder-the German RWE concern. The company undertook to investigate the national sector of the Caspian Sea in search of associated gas for its further pumping to Europe via the pipeline lengths 300-km through a reservoir between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Obviously, one of the key objectives of Nabucco is to reduce dependence on supplies from Russia.

Today it became known that the gas crisis between Russia and Turkmenistan, which ran from the spring, eventually overcome. A corporate discrepancy between OAO Gazprom and GC Turkmengas has been resolved at the highest level. Concluding new agreements on gas in Ashgabat, presidents of Russia and Turkmenistan Dmitry Medvedev and Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov back 'strategic partnership' to countries under the clinking of glasses of champagne.

Deliveries of the Turkmen gas I expected to be resumed in the New Year holidays, but the downside - Russia is ready to buy up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year instead of 50 billion cubic meters, as it was before. The formula price will be calculated on the European scheme. The content of the deal from 2003, was changed due to the amendments, from the original versions which were only time - until 2028. On the other hand, in fact the decline in purchases from Russia compensated for Turkmenistan that has reached the expansion of markets in China and Iran. Regarding the prices, it remains a commercial secret.

According to reports from Ashgabat, Russia and Turkmenistan also agreed to build a gas pipeline along the direction of Europe. Particularly, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told journalists that the sides are likely to promote "a number of projects on construction of new pipelines through the territory of Turkmenistan, and further in the direction of Europe."

But, he said the matter deals with two pipelines. First, the East-West internal pipeline project which will be built on the eastern Turkmen fields, including the super-giant hearth - South Yoloten to the Caspian coast.

The second project the Caspian gas pipeline that will run through Kazakhstan to Russia along the Caspian Sea and may further used for energy supply of Europe. Only yesterday Moscow regarded this pipeline as futile. "The question is how seriously Turkmenistan is ready to provide a direct access to the European market under the Nabucco project? Or again, all through Gazprom ...", the Western diplomat commented on the status quo.

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