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U.S. backs Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project

The United States supports Europe’s efforts to work with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on establishing the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.

Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. embassy in Azerbaijan Derek Hogan made the remark at the Oil & Gas Week conference in Baku on November 21.

The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline with a length of around 300 kilometers designed to be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be linked to the Southern Gas Corridor. The pipeline’s capacity is 30-40 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Talks on the construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline between Turkmenistan, the EU, and other countries have been held regularly since late 1990s. Both Caspian littoral countries are interested in using alternative routes for transportation of energy resources from the resource-rich Caspian region to European markets.

Hogan further said the achievement of a tripartite agreement will make it possible to create a legal framework for the construction of this pipeline in the future.

“The United States supports the parties involved in the development of this project,” Hogan said.

Naturally, Turkmenistan, which has the fourth largest ‘blue fuel’ reserve in the world, is one of the most prospective suppliers of gas to European market. And the most perspective route is the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline which will allow to transport Turkmenistan’s huge resources to Southern Gas Corridor that takes its beginning from Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan, for its part, has repeatedly expressed readiness to offer its infrastructure, diversified system of oil and gas pipelines and other opportunities for the implementation of gas transit projects.

In principle, the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project can be beneficial for all parties, but most of all it is needed by the EU and Turkmenistan. Its construction will actually mean deepening of the Southern Gas Corridor, which serves for diversification of the sources of gas supply to the EU, and expansion of the corridor resource base.

The diplomat further said that Azerbaijan has already demonstrated its willingness to participate in the process of gas supply on a global scale, as exemplified by the Shah Deniz-2 project and the development of the Southern Gas Corridor.

“This new route will make it possible to provide the annual deliveries of 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe till early 2020,” Hogan said. “Despite the fact that these volumes are not so great, the specified route will create an opportunity for the supply of gas from other fields of Azerbaijan as well and from Turkmenistan in the future.”

He said Azerbaijan and the Caspian region have great prospects.

Azerbaijan will play an important role in strengthening the European energy security through diversification of gas supplies, the diplomat said.

The charge d’affaires said the Southern Gas Corridor is an important project and a key element of Europe’s energy security, and therefore the U.S. supports it, regardless of its plans to export shale gas.


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