Europe to give preference to Southern Gas Corridor – expert

Europe to give preference to Southern Gas Corridor – expert

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 8

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Europe could give a preferential treatment to gas to be delivered via the Southern Gas Corridor route from Caspian Sea and Central Asian region, Cyril Widdershoven, a Middle East geopolitical specialist and energy analyst, a partner at Dutch risk consultancy VEROCY and SVP MEA-Risk, told Trend May 8.

He was commenting on the possibility of rivalry between the Southern Gas Corridor and TurkStream projects.

In principle, it is possible to ensure cooperation between the two projects, but this largely depends on the position that the European Union and its members are going to take.

“When looking at Brussels' energy security position, new Russian supplies are not welcomed at present. This will affect the commercials of TurkStream without any doubt,” he added.

The offshore construction of TurkStream gas pipeline started May 7.

“Pipe-laying in the Black Sea and the onshore construction at the Turkish landfall will continue throughout 2018 and 2019 and we plan to deliver the first gas by late 2019 as planned,” a source in South Stream Transport B.V. told Trend.

Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement October 10 on the implementation of the Turkish Stream project.

The agreement envisages construction of two branches of the main gas pipeline under the Black Sea, the capacity of each branch being 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas.

One branch is meant to supply gas directly to the Turkish market and the other for the supply of gas by transit through Turkey to Europe. The intergovernmental agreement also stipulates that these two offshore branches should be built by December 2019.

On Dec.8, 2016, South Stream Transport B.V., 100-percent subsidiary of Gazprom, signed a contract with Swiss Allseas Group on constructing the first line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline’s offshore segment.

Later in February 2017, the two companies inked an agreement on constructing the second line of the pipeline’s offshore section.

The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.

At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.

As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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