A project of gas pipeline construction at the Caspian Sea bottom is now being discussed in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh foreign minister, Kasimjomart Tokayev told Trend.
Pipeline construction across Caspian sea is also discussed in EU, which has prepared a document Green Map. Kazakhstan is now studying the given project as it does have a number of significant geopolitical situations. The more there are chances to transport out energy resources, the better for us, he said.
Implementation of this project will allow gas transports to Azerbaijan directly. From Azerbaijan it can be transported to Georgia and further on. Currently the both countries are receiving gas via Russian territory.
The approximate cost of the underwater trans-Caspian gas pipeline between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan might be $5bln, Azerbaijani industry and energy minister, Natik Aliyev earlier said. This is with the consideration of the existing infrastructure- Southcaucasian gas pipeline. The latter project has been evaluated in $2, 5bln in 1996.
Europe is interested today in the alternative gas supplies. There are a number of projects to transit gas from Asia Minor to Europe. First of all this is a project of gas supplies from Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. One of the proposed routes goes via Iran and Turkey and another from Caspian Sea via Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey and Europe, the minister said.
Trans-caspian pipeline recently received a great deal of attention, he said. The given project was initially suggested by Turkmenistan. And agreement has been signed between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan about purchase of 16bln m2 of natural gas with the condition to expand the pipeline on 30bln m2 for further sales of 14bln m2 to Europe.
Project is taking more shapes now, after the talks of the Turkish energy minister with Turkmen officials during his visit to Turkmenistan, minister continued. The pipeline is vital for the region and for Turkmenistan in the first place. Turkish minister discussed the start of the project implementation with the Turkmen president, Saparmurad Niyazov.
Minister added that the central European countries are interested in the project implementation. Austria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary have signed an agreement for NABUCCO project implementation, which intends constructing a 3.200 km long pipeline, capable to transit up to 30bln m2 of gas. The South Caucasus pipeline, which is due to be put into exploitation this September, might be considered as the first part of this project, minister concluded.