The issue on diversification of energy carriers (hydrocarbons) supplies is one of the key and most disputed ones in Europe today. The Caspian Basin countries will be capable to significantly help EU in providing it with alternative oil and gas supplies in a short-time outlook.
Issues connected with alternative oil and gas supplies to Europe from the Caspian countries were a topic of an exclusive interview Trend Correspondent to Astana conducted with Bruno Antonio Pasquino, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Kazakhstan
- What is the position of the Italian Government in the issue on diversification of energy carriers (oil and gas) supplies to Europe?
- The issue on diversification of the routes concerns both Europe and Kazakhstan. I have recently met the new Kazakhstan Foreign Minister, Marat Tajin, and he said that your object is our dream, since the main volume of Kazakhstan oil are still exported via Russia. However, in my opinion, the present situation is as follows: the diversification of energy carrier's supplies is impossible without the diversification of policy. No energy issue may be solved without taking a political decision. The obvious example is BTC Project (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan). This is the first oil pipeline that was laid across the territories of Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia. However, the construction of oil and gas pipelines via the Caspian Sea bottom, and the Kazakhstan oil from the very Kashagan Deposit in 2008 may reach BTC, which is in the direct dependence from a political decision which should be taken by all the five Caspian countries. Sixteen years passed since the day when Kazakhstan acquired its independence, but the iss
ue on dividing the Caspian still remains unsettled. In this connection, Italy raised the issue on diversification of policy along with that one connected with the diversification of energy carriers supplies. Both issues depend on each other, and the resolution of one of them is impossible without the resolution of another one.
The most important in this issue is that Europe interests in searching the alternatives will coincide with Kazakhstan. Italians say that if you face a trouble, you should do all your best to solve it. That means if one does not do all possible and take any efforts, problems will remain forever, and it is high time to launch the elimination of them.
- Touching upon the issue connected with ecology, I could not fail to ask you what is the reason of the postponement of terms on obtaining the first oil to be produced from Kashagan Deposit?
- Since the day when I assumed the office of the Italian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, (It was two months ago), I could find time to visit the above-mentioned deposit two times. According to specialists working there, there are two reasons. The first reason is a geographic one. It means that it is necessary to determine where oil and gas are physically laid. Kashagan is the World's one of the largest fields, and we could not determine either if it is situated offshore or onshore. The water level over the deposit is 4 meters, and nobody can install an offshore platform there. But, at the same time, the field is not an onshore one. Therefore, the Consortium should construct big and firm islands. At least 600-700 people should be settled on them. Houses and drilling mechanism should be based there as well. Installation of islands in the conditions of the local climate is possible if the temperature is not below - 20 C, in order to avoid ice. That seems to become a magnificent construction.
The second one is the concentration of sulfide gas. 0,9% of this gas is a fatal dose, while here its content exceeds 20%. That means that all works will have to be carried out in accordance with the maximal observance of safety regulations to keep all the employees safe. The mater concerns not only the personnel but also the whole population living there. Even a tiny gas escape there can blot out all the population of Atyrau.
The reputation of ENI, which led by Agip KCO, lies in its internationally-recognized popularity as the Company that keep all safety rules close most of the other ones. It is better to be tardy, but be assured that all the works are carried out in accordance with the observation of all the safety regulations.