Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Sept 3 /Trend H.Hasanov/
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov received Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in Ashgabat on Monday. They exchanged views on cooperation, including in the energy sector, an official Turkmen source said.
Ankara has periodically expressed interest in the delivery of Caspian energy to Europe through Turkey. This issue has been on the agenda since the mid-nineties: two alternative routes were provided - through Iran or under the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan. Shell Oil then produced a feasibility study at that time.
The best option is the Trans-Caspian project, but there are no direct agreements on its implementation so far. The EU submitted a mandate to start negotiations on the preparation of an agreement between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian project, 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 supply Turkmen gas to Europe.
Turkmenistan previously stated its readiness to supply Europe 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 provided by the 1000-kilometre, East-West gas pipeline which is being built overland and originates from the Galkynysh field and finishes at the coast of the Caspian Sea.
Officially Ashgabat believes that an agreement of the parties (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.