Turkmenistan calls Trans-Caspian gas pipeline as most optimal way to Europe

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Sept. 13 / Trend H. Hasanov /

Ashgabat believes that the construction project of the Trans-Caspian pipeline has the right to speedy implementation. It is the best way to the European market, experts and international observers operating in Turkmenistan said.

Brussels is interested in diversifying energy streams. It has recently presented a mandate to start negotiations on an agreement between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the project.

"The authorities have repeatedly stated that Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan deal with the issue of laying a 300-kilometer pipeline," representative of an international organization working in Ashgabat told Trend over phone.

"The Turkmen leadership understands that this offshore communication project has a right to a speedy implementation," one of Turkmen economists told Trend over phone.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with European Commission chairman Jose Manuel Barroso in Ashgabat in early 2011.

President Berdimuhamedov said that he considers the European direction as one of the most promising. He expressed his readiness to sign a specific agreement on the projects of "Southern Energy Corridor" after detailed negotiations.

Barroso stressed the importance of constructing the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline to ensure the safety and security of energy supplies to Europe, as well as to ensure a stable demand for Turkmen gas.

The practice shows that the Russian company "Gazprom" implements similar, even huge projects - via the Black Sea, North Sea, and others.

Offshore pipelines are much more practical, cheaper and environmentally safer because they are substantially isolated from the influence of human activity, because they are under a water layer of water and away from the coast.

Official Ashgabat earlier stressed that the environmental component of any economic project, is extremely important. It stated that it is ready to undertake the necessary expertise with concerned sides at a high-level.

The Trans-Caspian route would become a part of trans-national projects of "the Southern Gas Corridor".

Gas may be delivered for the Trans-Caspian project through the 1,000-km East-West gas pipeline which is under construction on the territory of Turkmenistan.

Experts think that not only potential consumers in Europe but Turkey as a transit country are interested in providing "Southern Gas Corridor" with resources. Azerbaijan is also interested in this. Members of the consortium make the initial bet on its Caspian fields.

Baku will have the opportunity to receive significant profit for transit at a long-term basis. Turkmen oil is successfully transported via Azerbaijani ports.

Ashgabat said that the northern part of the South Caspian basin is stable. So, it is better to lay pipelines between Turkmenbashi and Baku.

Turkmenistan expressed its readiness to provide the projects of "Southern Gas Corridor" with 40 billion cubic meters of gas. About 10 billion can be provided by Malaysian Petronas operating on Turkmen offshore block.

"Southern Gas Corridor" is one of the priority energy projects for EU. It is intended to diversify the routes and sources of energy supplies and increase the EU energy security. "Southern Gas Corridor" projects include: gas pipeline "Nabucco", Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), ITGI (pipeline Turkey-Greece-Italy), "White Stream".

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