European commission, Turkmenistan to discuss energy supplies in September
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, July 18 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso agreed to hold a meeting of the working group in Ashgabat to develop a mechanism ensuring the delivery of Turkmen energy resources to Europe in September 2012, Turkmen TV said on Wednesday.
"The Turkmen president supported the European Commission chairman's proposal to hold the next meeting of the working group in Ashgabat in September," the media said.
The mutual commitment to develop a mechanism of ensuring the delivery of Turkmen energy resources to Europe was confirmed during Barroso's official visit to Ashgabat in early 2011.
In particular, the agreement on the need to create a sound legal framework aimed at defining the basic principles and conditions for a long term partnership in this area was reached.
A top level working group, consisting of officials of the governments of all interested sides, the producer, transit and consumer, was created. Several rounds of negotiations within the specified group have been held.
Ashgabat has already taken some concrete actions with a hope to cooperate with the EU in energy. In particular, it promised to draw up to 40 billion cubic meters annually to its borders for EU member states. Malaysian Petronas working in the offshore area of Turkmenistan may ensure 10 billion.
The East-West gas pipeline is being constructed in Turkmenistan to supply the remaining 30 billion cubic meters that will connect the Galkynysh gas field ranking second with its largest reserves in the world, with the Caspian coast.
It is necessary to lay the pipeline through the Caspian Sea between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to transport these volumes.
President Berdimuhamedov at the last Caspian summit in Baku said that the construction of pipelines through the Caspian Sea is "fundamental" for Ashgabat.
He said that Turkmenistan is firmly convinced that an underwater pipeline through the Caspian Sea can be laid only with the consent of all parties through which this pipeline will be built.
Brussels began actively searching for an alternative in the Caspian region after the energy crisis experienced in the previous winter periods because of the inconsistency in the transit between Moscow and Kiev.
The European Commission president stressed that the gas crisis in January testified to the need for serious guarantees for the uninterrupted supply of energy resources. The EU will also seek to diversify sources, as well as from Turkmenistan.
The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline could become part of the larger project Nabucco, covering the territory of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria. The issues of its implementation, as well as cost, are periodically reviewed. Maximum capacity is 31 billion cubic meters of gas.
Potential buyers included in the Nabucco consortium are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Turkish Botas, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz and German company RWE.