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Asian gas markets more attractive for Turkmenistan than European

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Date: 8 January 2016 11:57

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 8

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

For Turkmenistan, which has the fourth largest gas reserves in the world, Asian gas markets are more attractive than European ones, Head of Greek Energy Forum’s Brussels Group believes.

In terms of the market conditions prices and the correlation of supply and demand in Asia are still more attractive, Constantine Levoyannis told Trend.

“The economies and populations in the East continue to grow and develop at a faster pace than in Europe, meaning there is simply more demand in Asia as opposed to Europe where we are facing ageing population, economic stagnation and declining gas consumption,” the expert explained.

Levoyannis also noted that timing and geostrategic issues such as, for example, the return of Iran to energy markets and the security for transit of gas to Europe, particularly on the Turkish border (involving ISIS aka Daesh and other extremist groups), are also important considerations while evaluating opportunities to export Turkmen gas.

Meanwhile the expert noted that Europe is interested in Turkmen gas.

Earlier, the European Commission’s Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said that the EU expects to receive Turkmen gas in 2019. The best route for delivering Turkmen gas to Europe would be a 300-kilometer long gas pipeline running through the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijani coasts by further connecting it to the Southern Gas Corridor gas pipelines’ system.

The negotiations among the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline began in September 2011. Turkmenistan believes that its and Azerbaijan's consent is enough to construct a pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, the legal status of which still needs to be determined. Azerbaijan has expressed readiness to provide its territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure for realization of the project.

Levoyannis noted that Europe continues to pursue the prospect of the Trans Caspian Pipeline in an attempt to overcome these obstacles, the EU relaunched talks on the project in 2015.

The project is still wishful thinking at this stage and very far away from the completion, but the obstacles that have hindered the project's progress in the past still remain, said Levoyannis.

Speaking about the position of the other Caspian states regarding Trans Caspian Pipeline, Levoyannis noted that Russia and Iran oppose this project because it will pose challenges of competition in the European gas market.

Edited by S.I.

Follow the author on Twitter:@E_Kosolapova

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