Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend S.Aliyev / The chances for the realization of the project on construction of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan are very high, said the former President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), present Head of Fund for Assistance Development of Entrepreneurship and Market Economy, Sabit Bagirov.
According to him, it is explained through many factors which include two key ones. At first, over the recent two years, due to the situation with the gas delivery of Russian Gazprom Company to Europe, the interests have significantly increased towards the diversification of the deliveries. Secondly Russia's arguments significantly weakened with regards to the ecological insecurity of the project. After it Russia constructed a pipeline to Turkey via Black Sea (Blue Flow) and prepares to construct a pipeline via Baltic Sea (North-European Pipeline). Commenting on Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Karim Masimov's statement that yet Kazakhstan does not plan to join the project of construction of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, Bagirov said that presently Astana has not gas excess. However, after three-four years, the gas production in the Country will increase and the situation will change.
In the addition, Bagirov assessed the possibility to construct Caspian pipeline on which a decision was made on 12 May by the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan who signed a declaration on the construction of the pipeline.
The consortium of companies MottMcDonald Ltd (UK), Kantor Management Consultants (Greece), KLC Law Firm (Greece) and ASPI Consulting Engineers (Azerbaijan) developed initial feasibility study of possible ways for gas transportation from Turkmenistan to Europe via the territory of Azerbaijan under INOGATE project
The possible transportation of gas via the Caspian Sea ground through pipeline is considered the priority route. Moreover, opportunities for gas transportation via Russia and Iran are also viewed.
An initial cost of the construction of subsea gas pipeline (at current prices for services and materials) is valued at $11.5bln. Its discharge capacity might constitute 22bln cu m a year. In 1990s the budget of such project would be some $3bln. Experts note that technical terms for construction of a pipeline are more efficient than the construction of 'blue fuel' (from Russian and Turkey via the Black Sea ground). It is explained with the shallow depth at the Caspian and more favorable nature environment as compared to the Black Sea.
The countries which have signed the Frame Agreement are Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Croatia.