Construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline, which envisages Russian gas supplies to Turkey and further to Europe, will have negative effect on the prospects of realization of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, expert of the British University of Glasgow focusing on the Central Asia, Luca Anceschi believes.
The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project involving laying of a 300-km gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, could deliver gas from Central Asian and in particular from Turkmenistan, which is the fourth in the world in terms of gas reserves, to Azerbaijan. Further Turkmen gas will be pumped through existing infrastructure to Europe and thereby decrease EU’s dependence on Russian energy supplies.
“Any progress on Turkish Stream would modify the structure of the demand for Caspian gas, making the Trans-Caspian pipeline even more irrelevant,” Anceschi told Trend.
Russian Gazprom started construction of the offshore section of the Turkish Stream pipeline in early May.
According to Anceschi, one would have expected that, given the current crisis, Ashgabat would consider changing its energy policy, moving towards smaller [with a capacity of 7-8 billion cubic meters] transit projects, in a scenario that would be ideal to enhance Trans-Caspian cooperation.
“This scenario is however yet to crystallize,” the expert said.
Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is optimal for the delivery of Turkmen energy resources to the European market. The project may be implemented as a part of huge Southern Gas Corridor project designed to transport gas from the Caspian region to European countries.
The negotiations on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline among the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan began in September 2011.