Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Apr 24
By Huseyn Hasanov– Trend:
The US expresses full support for the EU in the implementation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline construction project, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz told reporters. The matter rests in laying a 300-kilometer pipeline through the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan. In this case, Baku could serve as one of the key re-exporters of the Caspian gas while Turkmenistan could receive the reliable and solvent European market.
As it is known, in case of this project implementation, Europe's dependence on Russian supplies could be reduced, while the monopoly of Gazprom OJSC on the energy market of the Old World and the problems with the Ukrainian transit, occurring especially in winter, would be in the background.
The European Commission, as reported by news agencies, filed a formal accusation against Gazprom on April 22 for violation of the EU’s competition rules.
According to RIA Novosti, since early September 2012, the European Commission has been investigating Gazprom in three possible cases of violation of the EU rules.
The EU has suspected the Russian holding of limiting free supplies to the union countries by means of dividing the gas markets, preventing supply diversification and setting unfair prices.
Obviously, the realization of the projects for diversifying the energy flows from the Caspian region corresponds to the strategic interests of the West.
Earlier in an attempt to prevent the advancement of a similar project for building a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Turkey via Iran – the West was very wary of Tehran’s nuclear program, Washington also voiced this position.
The US showed interest in the Trans-Caspian project in the 1990s. The US Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and others were ready to finance the Trans-Caspian project and provide its political risk insurance.
The PSG Corporation, which included such US companies as the General Electric Capital Structure Finance Group and Bechtel Enterprises, took the lead in the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project that time.
In accordance with the worked out feasibility study of the project, it was planned to construct 715 kilometers of the pipeline from Turkmenistan’s Shatlyk field (in the country’s east), 300 kilometers – through the Caspian Sea, 408 kilometers – through Azerbaijan’s territory, 200 kilometers – through Georgia and 320 kilometers through Turkey to the city of Erzurum.
Edited by CN
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