Minister: Azerbaijan to consider possible transit of Turkmen gas after decision on Trans-Caspian gas pipeline (UPDATE)
(Comments added after the second paragraph, the first version was posted at 10:25)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.18/ Trend, E.Ismayilov, A.Badalova/
Azerbaijan is ready to consider possibility of transit of Turkmen gas through its territory after Turkmenistan will take a decision on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev told Trend on Tuesday.
He said the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is not Azerbaijani project and its implementation does not depend on Azerbaijan.
"Turkmenistan's position plays an important role in this project. If Turkmenistan considers the project important, and sees it as a access to the Western market, Azerbaijan supports this idea. In turn Azerbaijan will create all the conditions for the construction of the pipeline on its section," Aliyev said.
He said Azerbaijan continues the work on this project.
"It is a difficult project. There are both political and commercial and economic interests here," Aliyev said.
The EU has also interests in this project. Trilateral consultations are underway at present, he said.
"Negotiations are ongoing and there are difficulties associated with the commitments," Aliyev said. "First, Turkmenistan declared its intention to export at least 30 billion cubic meters. Secondly, the EU should guarantee that it will buy the gas. Thirdly, the financing issue of the pipeline is not yet defined yet".
Work to resolve all these issues is underway, he said.
Trans-Caspian gas pipeline with length of about 300 kilometres will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijani, where it will be linked to the Southern Gas Corridor.
The negotiations between Turkmenistan and the EU and other countries on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been held since the late 1990s.
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.
The Trans-Caspian pipeline was one of the topics of negotiations between senior representatives of the energy sector of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the EU, which took place earlier this month in Ashgabat.