Will Europe wait for Turkmen gas?
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, May 1
By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:
The European Union has started to actively lobby for the project of construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, which is to run from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan.
For instance, the European Commission's Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic recently held meetings in Ashgabat, as part of a visit of a high-level delegation of the EU.
The Southern Gas Corridor, which includes the Trans-Caspian project, remains a priority for Brussels. This project could be a part of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which has Azerbaijan and Turkey as its active participants.
Observers believe that at this stage the matter will rest in the environmental examination, which was held by RSK Environment upon an order from the World Bank (WB). As is known, Russia and Iran, opposing the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, raise the issue of environmental safety of the pipeline's construction.
Local experts believe that, in the coming decades, with the increase of gas production at the Caspian Sea shelf's fields, the need in offshore pipelines will increase.
"The sea pipeline systems are complex technical facilities, working in difficult environment," a Turkmen expert told Trend, on conditions of anonymity. "At the same time, they are an effective transportation means in the development of oil and gas resources of the continental shelf of the seas and oceans."
The key issue of the design of offshore pipelines is to choose and to substantiate their main structural parameters. The pipe material, their outer diameter and wall thickness, the method of installation, as well as corrosion protection, ensuring sustainability and other operational characteristics are among these parameters.
A feasibility study of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline was worked out in due time. The various options of the routes of laying the gas pipeline through the Caspian Sea were considered. The possible impact on the environment was generally reviewed.
Ashgabat's officials said that as a minimum, the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project will be implemented in accordance with all laws and regulations of the countries covered by the pipeline, as well as the WB environmental protection policy.
About a year ago that President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov received president of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) Rovnag Abdullayev in Ashgabat. They discussed the implementation of joint projects of laying transit gas pipelines. These gas pipelines are of great importance given the growing needs of the world market in stable energy supply.
The Turkmen government then pointed out that the two neighboring countries will consolidate their efforts in searching for the solutions to the current pressing problems, paying special attention to the energy security.