Better conditions for development of Trans-Caspian pipeline project exist today - expert

Commentary Materials 3 August 2017 12:14 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 3

By Kamila Aliyeva – Trend:

Turkmenistan is interested in supplying gas to European consumers and, today, Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project has better conditions for implementation than ever before, a Senior Fellow at Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Mamuka Tsereteli told Trend.

The expert noted three important elements which can ensure construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline.

“These elements include available resources, demand that can support stable sales at commercially attractive terms for the producers and commercial champion, interested in developing infrastructure that could send those resources to the markets,” he said.

The first element exists in Turkmenistan, while the second one needs to be organized, so that the third element could emerge, according to Tsereteli.

He further added that current opposition of the project shouldn’t be taken seriously.

“Russia has long resisted such a pipeline based on the artificial arguments related to environmental concerns. With its own massive pipeline development in the Baltic and Black Seas, such an argument cannot be considered seriously anymore,” the expert said.

Russia has to listen to EU’s serious message, that if Gazprom wants to sell more gas to Europe via Nord Stream 2 and Turkstream pipelines, it has to stop opposing to the Trans-Caspian pipeline, according to Tsereteli.

“Better conditions for the development of this project exist today. First of all, the pipeline could be connected to the infrastructure that connects Shah-Deniz field in Azerbaijan to Turkey and beyond to Europe,” he said.

The expert noted that the complimentary alternative is to build an extension from the existing South Caucasus Pipeline to the Black Sea, and beyond, connecting Georgia to Romania.

“The aggregate demand of Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and other countries and availability of resources in the Caspian region support the development of such a pipeline. Producing, transiting and consuming countries should work together to create commercially attractive conditions for private sector companies to get involved. As follows, International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank/IFC, EBRD, EIB and ADB will be willing to support it,” he added.

The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline Project, which involves the construction of a 300-km pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan, is considered to be the optimal solution for the delivery of Turkmen energy resources to the European market. Further, along the way, Turkmen gas can be transported through the existing pipelines to Turkey, which borders European countries.

The project may be implemented as a part of the huge Southern Gas Corridor project, designed to transport gas from the Caspian region to European countries.