Turkmen gas transportation to European markets faces lots of problems

Oil&Gas Materials 12 October 2011 18:41 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 12 / Trend A.Badalova /

Turkmenistan faces many problems both in production and transportation of 'blue fuel' to the European markets, Sergei Pravosudov, Russian National Energy Institute General Director told Trend by phone on Wednesday.

"We must understand that there are many problems on the way of implementing Trans Caspian gas pipeline project [which will allow Turkmen gas to reach European markets]," Pravosudov said.

One of the main problems is the unresolved status of the Caspian Sea, he believes.

Turkmenistan is a gas-rich country, which was also confirmed by an independent British auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates. The auditor said South Yolotan field in Turkmenistan holds up to 21.2 trillion cubic meters of gas. With such volume of reserves it yields only the South Pars field, shared between Iran and Qatar. Turkmenistan's Yashlar field, which is smaller, could hold up to 5 trillion cubic meters of gas.

"Talking about the large gas reserves, they don't mention the quality of gas," Pravosudov said.

He believes that the production of such kind of deep-laying gas faces a lot of technical problems.

"Thus, it is very expensive to extract these large gas volumes," Pravosudov.

"If the EU agrees to pay for expensive production cost, as well as construction of the Trans Caspian pipeline, then no problem," he added.

Once the Trans Caspian pipeline is realized, it will be very huge project, Pravosudov believes.

He said the EU would take its utmost in the issue of constructing the Trans-Caspian Pipeline.

Earlier, the EU has issued a mandate to negotiate a legally binding treaty between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build a Trans-Caspian Pipeline System. This was the EU's first official support to an infrastructure project.

The Trans-Caspian Pipeline agreement will set the basis for the construction of a 300- kilometer submarine pipeline connecting Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, and further linking this pipeline to infrastructure that will bring gas from Central Asia to the EU.

Talks between Turkmenistan and the EU and other countries on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been conducted since late 1990s. Its construction is now difficult because of unresolved status of the Caspian Sea.