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News and Events

Recent Highlights


Europe Looks to Turkmenistan to Expand Southern Gas Corridor

Europe Looks to Turkmenistan to Expand Southern Gas Corridor
03 July 2018: Robert M. Cutler, NATO Association of Canada

“[T]he European Commission has confirmed the TCGP as one of the EU’s Projects of Common Interest. This action qualifies the pipeline for financial support. …
“[T]he five littoral countries will sign a Convention on the Status of the Caspian Sea on August 12. This Convention will confirm the right of any country to lay pipelines and cables on its section of the seabed. Since the Azerbaijani and Turkmenistani sections are contiguous, the two countries need no one else’s approval.
Since March 2018, the European Commission is funding the Pre-FEED, Reconnaissance Surveys and Strategic and Economic Evaluations of the TCGP. (“FEED” is a technical abbreviation for “Front-End Engineering and Design”.) All supposed obstacles to the planning and construction of the pipeline are now falling away.
[T]he TCGP and White Stream projects meet the EU’s desired criteria of creating competition, integrating markets, and enhancing the security of supply and diversification. They will increase the transit capacity of the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine[.]
Through a connection with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan will finally find its place in the Euro-Caspian energy complex. Every effort is being made and should be made, to implement the extension of the SGC to Central Asia, and Turkmenistan in the first instance. In the more distant future, natural gas from Kazakhstan’s offshore Kashagan deposit may also be targeted for export to Europe.


Russian Government Approves Draft Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea

Russian Government Approves Draft Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea
27 June 2018: Azad Garibov, Eurasia Daily Monitor

“[O]ne of the most important points found in the recent reporting is the clarification of the right of the littoral states to lay underwater pipelines. According to Article 14 of the Draft Convention, the parties may lay underwater cables and pipelines along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, subject only to the agreement of those states whose sectors the pipelines or cables will pass through. Until now, Russia and Iran had both argued against various underwater pipeline projects in the Caspian Sea—most notably against the proposed trans-Caspian pipeline to deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan to European customers—on the grounds that any such project has to obtain consent from all the littoral states until the sea’s legal status is clarified.”


თურქმენული გაზის საქართველოზე ტრანზიტის შანსი გაჩნდა [Turkmenistan Gas has a Chance to Transit Georgia]

23 ივნისი [June] 2018, m2b.ge

კასპიის ზღვაზე ყველაზე მნიშვნელოვან პროექტად ტრანსკასპიური გაზსადენი მიიჩნევა, რომელიც თურქმენეთიდან ბუნებრივ გაზს აზერბაიხჯანის სანაპირომდე გადატუმბავს. აქედან კი საქართველოსა და თურქეთის გავლით, „გაზის სამხრეთის დერეფნით, ევროპამდე მიაღწევს. ტრანსკასპიური გაზსადენის საპროექტო სიმძლავრე წელიწადში 30 მლრდ კბ/მ გაზს შეადგენს, მისი სიგრძე – 300 კილომეტრია, ხოლო პროექტის ღირებულება $5 მლრდს აღწევს. The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) is the most important project in the Caspian Sea, and it will pump natural gas from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan. From there, through Georgia and Turkey, via the Southern Gas Corridor, it will reach Europe. The projected TCGP capacity is 30 billion cubic meters per year, and its length is 300 kilometers. The cost of the project may approach US$5 billion.

Ecologists Approved the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline

Ecologists Approved the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline
22 June 2018: Unsigned editorial, Nebit-Gaz: “Electronic newspaper of the Turkmen oil and gas complex”

An important point in the implementation of the project of export of Turkmen natural gas to Europe through the Caspian sea was the study confirming the environmental safety of the pipeline on the seabed. This was stated to journalists by the energy adviser of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan Eric Somelar.
“The representative of the EU cited the Russian Gazprom as an example, which laid gas pipelines with a capacity of up to 50 billion cubic meters of gas per year on the bottom of the Baltic sea. Eric Somelar emphasized that the European Commission is actively in contact with the government of Turkmenistan on the issue of laying a gas pipeline on the Caspian sea from Turkmenbashi to the Azerbaijani Sangachal gas terminal on the opposite side of the sea.
The diplomat … emphasized that important negotiations between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan on this issue are expected in the near future.


Brussels and Tbilisi Will Finance the Engineering of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline Project

Brussels and Tbilisi Will Finance the Engineering of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline Project
11 June 2018: Unsigned editorial, Nebit-Gaz: “Electronic newspaper of the Turkmen oil and gas complex”

Georgia and the European Commission have reached an agreement on joint financing of commercial engineering of the gas pipeline project on the Caspian sea bottom, which will connect Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
“[T]he adviser [Giorgi Vashakmadze] to the Prime Minister of Georgia spoke on the approximate cost of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. According to him, the project is estimated at $1.5 billion, which is much less than the amount that experts expected 8-10 years ago. The fact is that over the years Turkmenistan has built the East-West pipeline from the gas fields in the area of the city of Mary to the coast of the Caspian sea. The Turkmen leadership said that it had invested $3 billion in this construction, which reduced the cost of the Trans-Caspian project, which previously included a pipeline through Turkmenistan.
“According to the Georgian expert, banks and European companies will soon begin direct negotiations with Turkmenistan on the purchase and sale of gas. After the preparation of the documents, practical issues related to the construction of the pipeline will be put on the agenda.”


Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan Bypass Russia, Governments of Georgia and the EU Declare

Turkmenistan gas has a chance to transit Georgia
7 June 2018: Aydin Kerimov, Haqqin.az (Original Russian here.)

Georgia and the European Commission have agreed on joint financing of the commercial engineering of the Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan gas pipeline project on the Caspian seabed, the Advisor to the Prime Minister of Georgia for the East-West Energy Corridor, Georgi Vashakmadze, told haqqin.az, saying that this is necessary for banks to begin financing the whole project.
It means that concrete steps have begun to be taken to implement the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project from Turkmenbashi to the Sangachal terminal in Azerbaijan.
Vashakmadze noted that within the framework of the agreement with Georgia, the European Commission through its [Connecting Europe Facility] will finance the first part of the work on drafting the project documents. …
Earlier, the European Commission, together with the World Bank, allocated more than a million dollars for the preparation of the environmental strategy of construction. Georgia acted as a sponsor and paid for the second part of the work on preparing documents for the financial support of the project.
“Any contract is made only after a highly professional and scrupulous preparatory work has been carried out. This means that soon banks and European companies will begin to directly negotiate with Turkmenistan on the purchase and sale of gas. The process of buying Turkmen gas will proceed in the same way as done with the Shah Deniz field. After the documents are fully prepared, practical issues relating to the construction of the pipeline will be put on the agenda. Transactions on purchases of Turkmen gas are directly related to the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, “Vashakmadze believes.
It is planned to create a new international consortium for this project. The pipeline from Turkmenbashi to the Sangachal terminal will be an independent transport segment and will receive a specific load and appropriate financing, he said. …
“Azerbaijani gas and the Southern Gas Corridor will provide a balance of power and the basis of stability in the EU, enabling the European region to remain stable, just as the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [oil export pipeline] allowed large volumes of oil not controlled by the OPEC and the Russian Federation to reach the West,” Vashakmadze stressed. …
“If all documents are prepared within a year to a year and a half, then the signed agreements will be implemented. Then the issue of obtaining a construction permit, the negotiations for purchase and sale, etc., will be decided in particular. The gas pipeline will be then laid directly,” the expert said.
According to him, the project is estimated at $ 1.5 billion, which is much less than the amount that experts expected 8-10 years ago. The fact is that over these years, Turkmenistan built the East-West pipeline from the gas fields near the city of Mary to the coast of the Caspian Sea on its own. The Turkmen leadership said that it invested $3 billion in this construction. This reduced the cost of the Trans-Caspian project, which previously included a pipeline across Turkmenistan. …
“By the way, Azerbaijan can also participate with European companies in buying and selling Turkmen gas,” Vashakmadze said.


SGC is an Important Step on the Way of Turkmen Gas to Europe

SGC is an important step on the way of Turkmen gas to Europe
29 May 2018: Nury Amanov, Orient (Ashgabat)

Turkmen natural gas is already available [for expanding the volume of the Trans-Anatolian and Trans-Adriatic natural gas pipelines (TANAP and TAP)]. … Up until [the year] 2009 Turkmenistan supplied to Russia about 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. [After t] global economic crisis[, ] … trade volumes declined annually, and in 2010 Russia stopped buying Turkmen natural gas.
But this gas has not gone anywhere, and has not evaporated. Moreover, the Turkmen side, over the years, keeping in mind the European [export] direction, built the East-West gas pipeline with a length of more than 700 kilometers and a capacity of 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, which … can deliver gas, which previously went to Russia, to the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea, from where it is just a stone’s throw to Azerbaijan.


How Central Asian Energy Complements the Southern Gas Corridor

How Central Asian Energy Complements the Southern Gas Corridor

How Central Asian Energy Complements the Southern Gas Corridor
24 January 2018: Robert M. Cutler, EurActiv.com (Brussels)

“In August [2017] the leaders of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan signed for the first time an agreement to bring Caspian energy resources to Europe. …
“[In December 2017] Šefčovič reaffirmed ‘the Trans-Caspian Pipeline [as] an important, complementary element of the Southern Gas Corridor in order to connect the significant gas reserves of Central Asia to the European markets.’ The TCP is on the EU’s List of Projects of Common Interest, qualifying it for preferential financial regulatory treatment by European institutions. …
[T]he Government of Georgia will provide early-stage financial investment usually made by oil and gas majors relying on production sharing agreements. It will enable the project promoter companies to conduct engineering and other studies necessary for obtaining a construction permit. They will identify all capital and operational costs, enabling the promoter, in possession of the construction permits, to announce transportation tariffs for gas delivery to be levied on (presumably European) shippers. On that basis, the shippers can then negotiate sale-purchase agreements with Turkmenistan.
White Stream and TCP complement the Southern Gas Corridor. They will increase volumes of gas that can be transited to Europe. White Stream especially will create new ways for gas to reach Central and Eastern Europe via Romania. It will support new European infrastructure such as the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria pipeline (BRUA) and the utilisation of Ukraine’s gas storage facilities to Europe’s benefit.