Baku, Azerbaijan, June 22
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are working over the establishment of a working group for the Turkmen gas supply to Europe, a source in the European Commission told Trend.
"The process is on-going," the European Commission said.
In the view of considering organizational, legal, commercial, technical and other issues, related to natural gas supply from Turkmenistan to Europe, the parties agreed to establish a Working Group at the level of Deputy Ministers (or equivalent) in charge of energy sphere of Turkmenistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Turkey and the European Union during the talks in Ashgabat in early May, the statement said.
The composition of the Working Group and the schedule of talks for 2015 will be agreed among the parties within one month.
"The talks on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline continue," the European Commission said.
The Trans-Caspian pipeline project is considered to be the best option for supplying the Turkmen energy resources to the European market. The pipeline is expected to be laid through the bottom of the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan. Then the Turkmen hydrocarbons can be supplied to Turkey, which shares a border with the European countries.
The Trans-Caspian pipeline can be implemented as part of the Southern Gas Corridor large project, which envisages gas supplies from the Caspian region, in particular, the Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
The negotiations on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline among the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan began in September 2011.
Ashgabat believes that the consent of the sides, covered by the project, that is, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, is sufficient for laying the pipe through the bottom of the Caspian Sea, the legal status of which has not been defined.
Azerbaijan expressed its readiness to deliver its territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure for implementing the project.
Earlier, European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maros Shefchovich said that Europe intends to create a technical and legal basis for supplying Turkmen gas via Azerbaijan. The EU expects to receive Turkmen gas in 2019.
According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan, the country produced more than 76 billion cubic meters in 2014. Its exports exceeded 45 billion cubic meters. Turkmenistan plans to produce over 80 billion cubic meters of marketable gas in 2015.
Edited by CN
Elena Kosolapova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova