Why Russia wouldn’t allow Turkmen gas in?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.17
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Russia will unlikely agree to allow Turkmen gas to flow into its pipelines at this time, Bruce Pannier, US expert on Central Asia and energy issues, told Trend.
Earlier, Myrat Archayev, chief executive of state energy firm Turkmengas, said at an energy conference in Ashgabat that using Russia as a transit route rather than a buyer was a possibility.
“We have a working system of pipelines running in the northern direction through which Turkmenistan historically exported natural gas to Russia and other CIS countries,” he said.
“If mutually acceptable agreements are achieved with buyers and transit countries, this existing pipeline can be used to ship natural gas from Turkmenistan to CIS countries and Eastern Europe,” he added.
Pannier recalled that Russia was a buyer of Turkmen gas, some 40 billion cubic meters once, but that was 10 years ago. Russia drastically cut back the amount it bought, down to some 11 billion cubic meters and eventually to some 4 billion cubic meters, until 2016 when Russia stopped buying any Turkmen gas, he said.
The expert said he thinks it is unlikely Turkmen gas would reach Europe anytime soon.
“It is true Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with Russian President Vladimir Putin twice in October (once in Ashgabat, once in Sochi) but it is difficult to see how Russia would benefit from such an agreement,” said Pannier.
He noted that Russia wants to sell its own gas to Europe and is already working on Turkish Stream and trying to move forward with Nord Stream 2 precisely because Russia has so much gas and needs to bring in more revenues.
“Therefore, it seems to me improbable that Russia would agree to allow Turkmen gas to flow into Russian pipelines at this time,” added Pannier.
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