TURKMENISTAN GAS WAITING IN EUROPE

By Arthur Dunn

Europe intends to bring its strategy to diversify energy supplies to its logical conclusion, and Turkmenistan should her help. It is possible that Hungary can become a conduit for Turkmen gas to the European market. Experts argue that Budapest has enlisted in support of Moscow.

 

For Hungary and Turkmenistan as the richest hydrocarbon reserves on power is very important cooperation in the gas sector. The possibility of an energy partnership between the two countries are very promising. Significant impetus for strengthening energy dialogue with Europe's visit to Budapest Turkmen leader. In Ashgabat note the important role of Hungary in the process.

 

Bilateral relations between Budapest and Ashgabat intensified only in 2011, when the state-owned Hungarian MOL became a party to the European gas project Nabucco. Initially, the project was conceived as a route for transporting gas from the Caspian region to Europe bypassing Russia. But after two years Hungary has opted for the Russian "South Stream" by selling their shares in the Nabucco project of the Austrian company OMV.

 

The situation on the energy market in Europe began to change rapidly with the development of the crisis in Ukraine. The greatest concern of Brussels is Europe's dependence on Russian supplies. Russia accounts for about 40% of gas imports. According to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Ukrainian crisis and its geopolitical and energy games poses the most serious threat to European security since the Cold War. In late May, the European Commission unveiled its comprehensive strategy for energy security. Long-term objective is to reduce the EU's dependence on unreliable foreign energy suppliers, especially from Russia. The European Council should discuss the proposed plan at its summer session.

 

EU its bid to diversify energy routes makes primarily on Caspian gas, and in particular Turkmenistan. According to experts, for this project has yet to be Russia's consent. And most likely there is consent. Otherwise there would be no such activity in the negotiations between Ashgabat, Baku and the EU. Russia today it is important to maintain friendly relations with former Soviet partner countries. The main thing - to understand clearly whether Turkmen gas reserves necessary because most of the gas produced in the country is transported to China. According to expert estimates, Turkmenistan, which has proven reserves of natural gas volume 17.5 trillion cubic meters. m, is in fourth place in the world on this indicator. Turkmenistan has the opportunity to export its gas not only in China but also in Europe. Especially that Ashgabat in 2015 should complete the construction of the longest highway of the country, "East-West". This project will open two new gas path: the East and in Europe. Solving the problem of Turkmen energy resources to Europe still rests on the construction of a pipeline under the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan. Without defining the status of the Caspian Sea to resolve the issue of laying the pipe is not possible.

 

Meanwhile, the project pipeline under the Caspian Sea some experts call political. European dream - the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline under the Caspian Sea - remains a dream, realize that will not allow rigid positions of Russia and Iran. And it remains unclear Turkmenistan interest in these projects, taking into account, for example, unfinished conflict with Azerbaijan over fields "Kapaz" ("Serdar"), "Chirag" ("Osman") and "Azeri" ("Khazar"). Conclusion of Turkmen gas to Europe is possible only in one way - through the Caspian lowland in Iran. And taking into account the overall context of the Iran-United States relations and the EU, this option seems to be impossible even in the long term.

 

 

25.06.2014

 

 

 
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