Russian expert: Unsettled issues remain in Trans-Caspian pipeline implementation
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 9 / Trend A. Badalova /
The economic and political issues remain unsettled in terms of implementing the Trans-Caspian pipeline, Director General of the Russian Institute of the National Energy Sergei Pravosudov said.
He told Trend that the counteraction from Russia and Iran, which oppose the construction of this gas pipeline, is complex for the project.
He said that at this stage, there are no contracts on gas supplies.
"In particular, there is no contract on gas purchase between Turkmenistan and any European companies," he added.
A source in the Energy Department of the European Commission told Trend that though no agreement on the Trans-Caspian pipeline construction was reached, the negotiations are underway.
Two documents which must be signed at the level of the Azerbaijani, Turkmen presidents, head of the European Commission and the governments of the two Caspian-littoral countries, are being prepared within the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project, Azerbaijani Minister of Industry and Energy Natiq Aliyev said earlier.
He said that the first document will support the corridor by three sides. The second document must be signed between the Azerbaijani and Turkmen governments.
The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which could be implemented within the "Southern Gas Corridor", is planned to be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to the Azerbaijani coast. The pipeline length will hit about 300 kilometers.
The design capacity of the Trans-Caspian pipeline is connected with the demand for Turkmen gas in Europe.
Negotiations on the construction of the pipeline between Turkmenistan, the EU and other countries have been held since the late 1990s.
The negotiation process has been intensified after the European Union delivered 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.
However, Iran and Russia later expressed their negative attitude towards the project. Tehran and Moscow think the pipeline construction may damage the Caspian Sea's ecology.