EU rep discusses future Turkmen gas supplies to Europe in Ashgabat

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Oct. 25

By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:

Representative of the European Commission’s Energy Directorate-General Erlendas Grigorovic discussed in Ashgabat the options for future supply of the Turkmen natural gas to Europe, Trend reports referring to the Turkmengas state concern.

This issue was raised during a meeting with Yagshigeldy Kakaev, adviser on oil and gas issues to the Turkmen president, high-ranking officials of ministries of finance and economy, heads of the banking institutions and managers of the Turkmengas state concern. A representative of the World Bank also attended the event.

Stressing that gas will remain one of the main components of the European energy market, Grigorovic said that the West is interested in import of Turkmen gas.

In particular, confirming the EU’s commitment to the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project, the EC representative voiced the organization's intention to continue the work in this sphere and renew the status of the project by using a trust fund’s assets. The parties agreed to develop a roadmap for action.

During an oil and gas forum, which was held in Ashgabat recently, Grigorovic drew attention to the fact that the signing of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian and its recent ratification by Russia is a very positive event.

"I also understand that Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are moving forward on the issue of delimitation of the bottom of the sea,” the EC representative said. “This Convention, the Southern Gas Corridor give us hope that the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline will become real one day."

Grigorovic stressed that Turkmenistan has all the conditions for attracting European investors.

“European companies can offer technical expertise, leading standards in the field of ecology, labor protection and training of specialists,” the EC representative said. “Gas demand in Europe amounted to 300 billion cubic meters in 2018.”

In turn, WB expert Alexander Huurdeman said at the Ashgabat forum that gas supplies from Turkmenistan to Europe are becoming close to reality after the formation of the Southern Gas Corridor in 2020.

“The outlook is also optimistic thanks to the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, signed in 2018,” the WB representative said.

Turkmenistan is exploring the possibility of bringing its energy resources to the European market, including through the implementation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project within the Southern Gas Corridor being promoted by the EU.

Turkmenistan voiced its readiness to provide Europe with an annual volume of up to 40 billion cubic meters of gas. Ashgabat said that the EU expressed willingness to help attract investments in the implementation of this project.

Brussels and Ashgabat are preparing a version of the legal framework agreement on the future gas supplies from Turkmenistan to Europe. The Ashgabat Declaration on Energy was signed by the ministers of energy of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and European Commission’s vice president for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic in May 2015.

The East-West domestic gas pipeline, connecting the Turkmen eastern regions with abundant gas reserves with the country’s western regions, was commissioned in 2015. Moreover, oil and gas resources are being developed rapidly in the Turkmen part of the Caspian Sea.

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