Turkmenistan promotes European gas vector

Turkmenistan promotes European gas vector

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Apr. 19

By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

While anticipating the resources of the Caspian region, especially from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, the EU has actively promoted the Southern Gas Corridor project. A project for the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline construction can be a part of it.

Laying the pipe through the Caspian Sea from the city of Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan to the city of Sangachal on the coast of the Absheron Peninsula in Azerbaijan is expected to be one of the variants of this route.

Turkmenistan, ranking fourth in the world's largest natural gas reserves, is one of the key players on the energy market in the Caspian region and Central Asia. It is interested in searching for new markets, particularly in Europe.

In this aspect, the pipeline route to Europe via the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan is considered one of the most attractive ones.

The EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are negotiating on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline construction project upon Brussels's initiative.

The Turkmen side expressed its readiness to conduct the appropriate environmental expertise with the participation of international experts to implement this project.

The RSK Environment Ltd. carried out the preliminary environmental studies on the World Bank's order.

"We are holding the tripartite negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkey," President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov said. "I hope that we will reach an agreement, and it will become another step towards the implementation of the European vector."

The president also drew attention to the fact that Turkmenistan has never removed, and will not remove the European vector from the agenda.

In its turn, Brussels has recently announced that it is time for the European companies, directly interested in Turkmen gas import, to join the negotiation process. The Caspian Development Corporation, which is being established, can serve this goal. This will help Turkmengaz state concern to find a common ground with the concerned companies from Europe.

In this list, BP, Statoil, Total and other companies with long experience in the Caspian Sea shelf, on the other side, that is, in Azerbaijan, can become potential participants.

Local experts also believe that Ashgabat, selling gas at its borders, is especially looking for cooperation with the companies willing to invest in the development of the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. Some 32 licensed blocks have been put up for tender.

Earlier, during the talks with Turkmenistan, the Eni management voiced its willingness to assist with the Turkmen gas delivery to the world markets in the long term. In November 2014, the company expressed an interest in exploring the offshore blocks No 19 and No 20 in the Turkmen part of the Caspian Sea. The reserves hit more than 500 million metric tons of oil and 630 billion cubic meters of natural gas there.

Moreover, in April 2009, the Turkmen government signed a long memorandum with one of the leading traders of natural gas on the EU market - RWE AG, which explores the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea.

According to the agreement, the license envisages the exploration during six years. Some 17 prospective sites and prospective structures have been revealed. RWE previously announced that the exploratory drilling at the first site will be carried out from the shore in 2014-2015.

The resources have not been assessed here. In case of revealing the hydrocarbon reserves, a license for commercial production for 25 years will be issued.

The license block is located in the southeastern region of the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea and covers the whole area of about 940 square kilometers.

Edited by CN

Trend commentator Huseyn Hasanov

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