Kazakhstan, Astana / corr. Trend K.Konirova / The decision of Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan regarding the construction of the Caspian gas pipeline means that the heads of the three countries confirmed the solidarity of their visions in transporting their own gas to the world market, said Executive Director of Shell Kazakhstan Development, Martine Ferstl. "Presently we are at the beginning of working out a new gas scenario, which will include Europe in the near future," he said. Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed a joint declaration on construction of the Caspian gas pipeline. According to the signed document, until 1 September 2007, the Governments of the three countries should prepare and sign a relevant co-operation agreement. The Caspian gas pipeline passes through the territories of Turkmenistan (360km) and Kazakhstan (150km).
" Turkmenistan possesses large gas reserves. The country may export gas to the west via Russia and east to China. Western Europe and China are large markets and Turkmenistan is perfectly geographically situated to focus on these two markets," Ferstl said.
Touching upon the prospect of the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline as a means to export Middle Asian gas to Europe via the territory of Azerbaijan, Ferstl said that it is a very difficult project. "Realizing the project depends on the decision of five Caspian countries, expert commissions, and many international agreements," he said.
Constructing the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline may amount to $5bln. In 1996 the project had been estimated at $2.5bln. Formerly the project had been initiated by the Turkmen side and even an agreement had been signed between Turkmenistan and Turkey on the sale-purchase of 16bln cu m of gas per year. The design length of the pipeline equals 2,000 km.
"Such issues cannot be resolved promptly and requires a long deliberation time," Executive Director of Shell Kazakhstan Development said.