Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Apr. 7
By Huseyn Hasanov– Trend:
Turkmenistan is in talks with Azerbaijan and Turkey on the issue of implementation of the European vector of its gas export, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov said after the meeting with President of Moldova Nicolae Timofti, who is in Ashgabat on an official visit.
He said that Turkmenistan sells gas to Russia, Iran and China as well as works to diversify its gas export.
“Now we hold tripartite negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkey,” said Berdimuhammadov.
“I hope that we will reach an agreement, and it will become another step towards the implementation of the European vector.”
He also drew attention to the fact that Turkmenistan never removed, and will not remove the European vector of its export from the agenda.
Turkmenistan is a key player in the gas market in the Caspian region and Central Asia.
When talking about construction of a pipeline to Europe, the most optimal route would be laying a 300-kilometer gas pipeline across the Caspian Sea to the coasts of Azerbaijan, which has at its disposal an appropriate infrastructure for the re-export of Turkmenistan’s gas to Turkey and further to Europe.
In late March it was reported that Brussels was preparing the European oil and gas companies for talks with Turkmenistan’s gas concern, the Turkmengas, for a project on construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline.
Among the interested companies there are BP, Statoil, Total and others that have deployed business in Azerbaijan, as well as RWE and Eni, which already have an agreement with Turkmenistan on geological exploration in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea with a prospect of gas purchases.
Back in Sept. 2014, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov said at a summit of the Caspian states’ heads in Russia’s Astrakhan, that his country continues to believe in the realization of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline project.
“Turkmenistan is firmly convinced that the construction of such pipelines is the sovereign right of the states through the bottom section of which they run,” Berdimuhammadov said. “Therefore these pipelines can be constructed only with their consent, naturally in compliance with the highest international environmental standards.”
“The provision of a durable stability and security is the main condition of our successful cooperation in the Caspian Sea, and a key to solving all the existing issues,” the president added.
Ranking fourth in the world for the volume of natural gas reserve, Turkmenistan seeks to significantly expand the access to the international gas market in order to use its natural resources as efficiently as possible.
The Ministry of Oil and Gas Industry and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan said in early March that intensive work is continuing to organize the supply of 10 -30 billion cubic meters of gas to the European market per year.
The ministry said the RSK Environment Ltd. carried out the preliminary environmental studies upon the World Bank’s order.
The examination confirmed that from the environmental point of view, the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline is a safe route, and today, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have every opportunity to implement the project for its construction as part of bilateral activities.
The fields in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea may be the resource base for the gas supply via the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline at the initial stage, said the ministry.
In this case, the reference was made to the European experts, who believe that the presence of the already explored and proven natural gas reserve in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea makes it possible to supply 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year in this direction.
In the future, there will be an opportunity to use the resources of gas fields in eastern Turkmenistan to supply gas through the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline. This will be possible after the commissioning of the East-West gas pipeline with a pumping capacity of 30 billion cubic meters per year. Its construction will be completed in 2015.
The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline could become a part of the TANAP project initiated by Ankara and Baku. Azerbaijan expressed readiness to offer its territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure for the implementation of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline project.
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