Turkmenistan's energy policy is a priority for EU cooperation

Oil&Gas Materials 11 May 2012 09:17 (UTC +04:00)

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, May 10 /Trend H.Hasanov/

Cooperation with the European Union is a priority with Turkmenistan's energy policy, the Turkmen government said on Thursday.

It is also noted that at this stage that Turkmenistan cooperates with such states as Russia, China and Iran with its gas field.

The construction of the pipeline from Turkmenistan to China and the commissioning of the second branch of the pipeline to Iran are referred to as being important towards the diversification of pipelines.

The main objective of Turkmenistan's international energy policy is to put its energy resources into the global markets on the basis of a stable and long term development of an extensive pipeline system.

It is also noted that the energy diplomacy of Turkmenistan which is being implemented at present, has a tendency to rise and characterised by openness and the efficiency of a wide range of tools and machinery.

'Bilateral, multilateral, regional and interregional variations of energy diplomacy are being interconnected with each other to create favourable conditions for the effective enforcement of national interests', the report said.

Energy diplomacy as a means of the geo-economic direction of foreign policy of Turkmenistan is aimed at ensuring the country's national interests in the energy sector, according to the analytic material.

"Thus a set of interconnected commercial and political activities is being developed by the government in order to improve the accessibility of foreign markets for Turkmenistan. Regional and international organisations are assisting in securing national interests," the report said.

The article says one of the main objectives of energy diplomacy in a globalising world economy is to achieve harmonisation of national interests of three main parties: the owners of energy, consumers and transit countries.

Energy exporting countries are interested in ensuring stable income from sales at high prices. The national interests of consumer countries of strategic raw materials are directed towards achieving the lowest possible purchase price and stable supply of energy from external sources. The interests of transit countries are associated with obtaining high returns provided by pipelines that run through the territory of these countries.
The article mentions the Reliable and Stable Transit of Energy and Its Role in Ensuring Sustainable Development and International Cooperation resolution, adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 2008.

It was informed about the progress made in Brussels at the tripartite meeting on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline in March of 2012 at a regular meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov said at the meeting "the Turkmen state demonstrates a responsible approach to international cooperation in the energy sector, implementing major projects in the field of a multivariate transmission system, as well as promoting its international initiatives in the areas of general energy security."

There are no direct arrangements for the implementation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline yet. However, the European Union gave a mandate to start negotiations on the preparation of an agreement between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian project in September 2011, after which the process began.

It is necessary to lay a seabed pipeline stretching about 300 kilometres under the Caspian to the coast of Azerbaijan to connect Turkmen resources to the large scale Nabucco project initiated by the EU.

Turkmenistan previously stated its readiness to supply Nabucco with an annual amount of up to 40 billion cubic meters of gas, 10 billion of which could provide Malaysian Petronas which is operating in the offshore block of Turkmenistan.

The rest of the volume can be provide by the 1000-kilometre, East-West gas pipeline which is being built on the territory of the country and originates from the Galkynysh field and finishes at the coast of the Caspian Sea.

The Nabucco project covers the territory of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria. Its implementation and cost are reviewed periodically. Maximum capacity is 31 billion cubic meters of gas.

Potential buyers are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Turkish Botas, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz and the German company RWE.

Official Ashgabat believes that agreement of the parties (of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan), whose territory encompasses the project is sufficient for laying pipes under the Caspian Sea, the legal status of which has not been determined.

Azerbaijan expressed its readiness to provide its own territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure for the project, representatives of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) said previously at an energy conference in Ashgabat.