Large gas volumes from Caspian region to Europe are inevitable

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 2 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /

The gas reserves of the Caspian region are comparable with the reserves of Yamal and West Siberia, director general and owner of East European Gas Analysis (US) Mikhail Korchemkin said.

"The production and delivery of gas from Shah Deniz [Azerbaijan] and Galkynysh [Turkmenistan] fields to Europe requires less costs than the gas from Yamal," he told Trend today. "I think that the main increase in European imports of the pipeline gas will be ensured at the expense of the deposits of the Caspian region in these and the following ten years."

Gas to be produced during the second phase of the Azerbaijani gas condensate "Shah Deniz" field development is considered as the main source for the projects of the Southern Gas Corridor, which includes Nabucco, TAP and ITGI pipelines. The decision on the preferred transportation route is expected to be taken before the end of the first quarter of 2012.

At present, Azerbaijan considers various options for transporting its gas to European markets, including "Southern Gas Corridor".

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), "Nabucco" and ITGI project submitted final proposals to the Azerbaijani side on Oct.1. It will consider them in accordance with the previously announced criteria.

The decision on preferable transportation route, as expected, will be made in the first quarter of 2012. Azerbaijan plans to export 10 billion cubic meters of gas from Shah Deniz 2 field after 2017.

Mr Korchemkin said that it is inevitable to get big gas volumes from the Caspian region to Europe. Not one but a number of gas pipelines may be built within the Southern gas corridor, the expert said.

The concrete gas pipeline project chosen by the Azerbaijani side, through which it will be delivered to Europe, depends on the Turkmenistan's position, he said.

"If within next months Ashgabat and the EU sign a gas agreement, then chances of the gas pipeline with the biggest capacity - Nabucco, will significantly increase," Mr Korchemkin said.

Nabucco gas pipeline is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to the European countries. Construction of the Nabucco project is planned to start in 2013 and the first supplies are scheduled for 2017.

The total length of the pipeline is 3,900 kilometers and a maximum capacity of the pipeline will be 31 billion cubic meters per year.The project's partners include the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and the German RWE.

The expert said that it is difficult to predict the nearest prospects of Europe in terms of diversification of energy resources because of complicated economic situation in the EU countries.

"In long-term prospect I am willing to concede Germany's return to large-scale use of nuclear power plants. I have no doubts that solar and wind energy, as well as some new types of energy, not known to public, will develop," Mr Korchemkin said.

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