Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Sept. 10 /Trend, H.Hasanov/
The discovery of large gas reservoir in Azerbaijan on the Absheron field could accelerate the arrival of western companies in the Caspian Sea in general, experts and international observers in Turkmenistan believe.
"The discovery of another major gas reservoir in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan is a timely and positive signal to European consumers of the potential opportunities of the Caspian region," a Turkmen economist, who wished to stay unnamed, told Trend over phone.
He said Azerbaijan may take a more worthy place in the regional energy market, and provide a link to the diversification of energy flows, primarily in the European direction.
He noted that the industrial development of the Absheron field will require time and new investments that will "definitely be repaid".
As a representative of the Western oil company operating in Turkmenistan told Trend over phone, in turn, expressed confidence that this news will "raise for European and American companies the rating of offshore projects relating to the development of the contract area on the shelf of the Caspian states".
As known, in recent years, Ashgabat has intensified talks with major companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total, Gas de France, Eni, ConocoPhilips, Midland Oil & Gas, British Petroleum, and several companies from the Far East and the Persian Gulf.
In particular, it deals with preparing PSAs to develop the Turkmen section of the Caspian Sea, where, according to the American Western Geco Geophysical Company, reserves total 11 billion tons of oil and 5.5 trillion cubic meters, excluding the already contracted blocks.
Turkmenistan, who has the fourth largest gas reserves in the world, put up for international tender 32 licensed blocks in the Caspian Sea, most of which are also located in large depths like Absheron and require substantial capital expenditures.
At the same time, Western companies want to gain an access to the onshore fields - in Turkmenistan, exclusive right to develop the onshore fields was only gained by the Chinese CNPC, who builds Turkmenistan-China pipeline, which was commissioned in 2009 and is now operating.
"It can be expected that the discovery of reserves in Absheron can switch efforts of Western companies to offshore projects in Turkmenistan. At least, Ashgabat would be glad for it," said Trend an employee of an international organization working in the Turkmen capital.
As known, some of the Caspian projects have been repaid. In particular, commercial production of natural gas began on the Turkmen shelf of Caspian for the first time this summer.
Investment project for the exploration and development of offshore "Block 1" with the Malaysian Petronas, which has become the first foreign partner of Turkmenistan in the development of country's offshore fields, includes preparation of export of up to five billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas to Kiyanly per year at the initial stage, and in the long term - up to 10 billion cubic meters per year.