Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Dec. 23
By Huseyn Hasanov– Trend:
Turkmenistan, being one of the world's leading countries in terms of natural gas reserves, can claim its spot among the key suppliers of gas to Europe. Ashgabat’s efforts are visible in this direction.
Turkmenistan not only announced readiness to export up to 30-40 bcm of gas a year to the western direction, but also got its gas for export up to Caspian borders, to be closer to Europe, analysts say.
The East-West gas pipeline was solemnly commissioned in Turkmenistan December 23. Its construction began in 2010 and connected the major gas fields in eastern Turkmenistan, including the largest Galkynysh field. This field with the nearby Yashlar field and the recently discovered Garakel field is estimated to be at 27.4 trillion cubic meters.
The annual capacity of this gas pipeline is 30 b c m per year. The pipe diameter will reach 1,420 mm.
Turkmengas State Concern is the client and the contractor of the $2 billion project. The project itself was implemented within 5 years.
The energy export to Europe is one of the priorities of the international energy strategy of Turkmenistan.
The East-West pipeline connected the fields with huge gas reserves into a single network. It is possible to enter the European market through Turkey by laying a pipeline to Azerbaijan.
Turkmenistan and the EU have been holding the talks on this issue since 2011. The Southern Gas Corridor, including the Trans-Caspian project, remains a priority for Brussels. As it is known, the EU adopted the key infrastructure energy projects for the period up to 2020.
The project of laying a 300-kilometer-gas pipeline through the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan is optimal for supplying the Turkmen resources to the European market, the sides said earlier. Then the Turkmen gas can be supplied to Turkey, which shares a border with the European countries.
The Trans-Caspian pipeline could be part of several large-scale projects, including AGRI and TANAP. Ankara and Baku are active participants there.
A framework agreement on cooperation in Turkmen natural gas supply to Turkey and further to Europe was signed between the governments of Turkmenistan and Turkey following the talks in Ashgabat in July 2013.
The Turkmen leadership has repeatedly stated its readiness to conduct environmental expertise with the involvement of international experts. As it is known, while opposing the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, Russia and Iran raise the issue of environmental safety of the pipeline construction.
Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world with its natural gas reserves. Currently, it exports gas to the markets of China, the CIS and Iran.
Huseyn Hasanov is Trend Agency's journalist in Turkmenistan
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