Kazakhstan links Trans-Caspian project to Caspian status specification
Azerbaijan, Baku, November 21 / Trend /
Kazakhstan will not make decision on whether to join the project of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline until the matter of Caspian legal status is solved, Bolat Akchulakov, Board Chairman of KazMunaiGaz, the Kazakh national oil and gas authority, reported. He was speaking at plenary meeting titled "Kazakhstan's Economy: Twenty Years of Achievements and Future Outlook" at the sixth Forum of European and Asian Media (FEAM) in Astana.
"The issue (of Kazakhstan's participation) is exactly Caspian legal status, which has not so far been specified. As for the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, we think we will not be involved in this project until legal status is specified" Akchulakov was quoted by news agency Novosti-Kazakhstan as saying.
Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, with a length of 300 kilometers, will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor. Talks between Turkmenistan and the European Union 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.
The Southern Gas Corridor is a priority EU energy project diversifying energy supply routes and sources and increasing security. It includes the Nabucco gas pipeline, TAP and ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline).
Turkmenistan, with its reserves, can pretend for the role of one of the key suppliers of gas on this corridor and has intensified its efforts in this direction substantially.
Ashgabat has already begun to build the 1,000-kilometer $2 billion-worth internal gas pipeline East-West. The pipeline is designed to link reserves in Turkmenistan's eastern region's gas fields - Yeloten field and some other - to the Caspian shoreline and, through a 300-kilometer pipeline over the seabed, onward to European markets via the territories of Azerbaijan and Turkey.