Events in Arab world to raise interest of importers in gas resources from Caspian region

Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 March /Trend, V.Zhavoronkova/

The events in the Arab world may increase the interest of gas importers in the natural resources of the Caspian region, forcing them to seek alternative sources of energy resources, says German expert on Central Asia Stefan Meister.

Over recent months, many countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been covered by massive protests of peoples, which have already led to the downfall of the ruling regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Currently the riots continue particularly in Yemen, Syria and Libya. Anti-governmental demonstrations were also held earlier in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman. The international forces intervened in the situation in Libya.

Arab countries are important suppliers of energy resources to world markets, and the events in these countries have affected the oil and gas market.

The expert said in order to fully evaluate the changes in the hydrocarbon market, it needs to wait for further development of events in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia, which is a major supplier of energy resources, as well as the outcome of the situation in Libya, which is also an important supplier.

"It is too early to say that the events drastically affected the interest in energy resources of the Caspian region, but on the other hand, the situation improves consumers' interest to search for alternative energy sources and ways of their transportation," the expert of German Council on Foreign Policy, Meister, wrote in an e-mail to Trend.

Also, he said now it is possible to see the increased interest of European, Chinese, Indian companies aimed at finding new sources of energy resources.

"This can give potential to the resources from the Caspian region, exactly from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, to attract more investment and get more political support to the creation of pipelines," said Meister.

He said it seems that the debate on this issue will soon be launched.
However, everyone knows how much time it takes to implement energy projects, how high their cost is, how much time is necessary in order to promote these projects, the expert said.

"Indeed, it is possible to speak of rise in the interest in the energy resources of the Caspian region in the long-term outlook, this can be judged right now, analyzing the increasing interest of European companies in the Nabucco project, but in any case, time is needed to assess the result of events in the Arab world," he said.

Nabucco project is part of Southern Corridor along with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), White Stream, ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy).

South Corridor is a priority for the European Union and aims to diversify routes and sources of supply, thus increasing the energy security of the EU.

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