Turkmen gas can become additional source for Southern Gas Corridor

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 29 / Trend A.Badalova /

Turkmen gas could become an additional source for the Southern Corridor besides Azerbaijani gas from Shah Deniz field, editor-in-chief at Eurasia Energy Observer Andrej Tibold said.

Tibold wrote Trend via e-mail, that the prospects for the Turkmen gas transportation to the European market look good.

"There is a strong interest from both Turkmenistan and Europe," he said.

Tibold said that Turkmen gas may be transported via the proposed Azerbaijani-Turkish Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), taking into consideration the recent idea that the pipeline's capacity could be expanded from the initial stage of 16 billion cubic metres per year (bcm) up to 30 bcm.

This week Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov has stressed the country's new opportunities to supply crude oil to Europe, which became available with the start of natural gas production on the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea. He also said that Turkmenistan has created "all the necessary conditions to guarantee the filling of any possible export routes of Turkmen gas."

With regards to the realization of Trans Caspian Pipeline (TCP) project, which will enable Turkmen gas to reach European market, Tibold stressed that the EU is involved in facilitating the negotiations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on this project.

However, this process can take some time, he believes.

"Although the time seems ripe for progress on the TCP, now the Southern Corridor is opening up with TANAP, the negotiation process between all actors involved could still take quite some time," Tibold said.

The decisions to be taken will be long lasting, so everyone wants to be sure they have taken maximum out of the deal for themselves, he added.

Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev said on Wednesday that Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the EU are preparing two documents that will allow them to deliver the Caspian and in particular Turkmen gas to Europe. He said that Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the European Union are preparing a political document to support the Southern Gas Corridor, as well as an inter-governmental agreement on Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. This should take place before the end of the year.

Trans-Caspian gas pipeline running to around 300 kilometres will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijani one, where it will be linked to the Southern Gas Corridor.

In September, 2011 the EU Council gave a mandate for the negotiations between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.

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