A well-known Russian expert – economist Stanislav Pritchin believes that the main problem of the project for delivering Turkmen gas to Europe through the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is to reduce the price situation in the EU gas market. This was reported by Trend News Agency.
All the participants in the project of the Trans-Caspian pipeline, which provides for the transportation of Turkmen gas to Europe through Azerbaijan, show great interest, despite the fact that the project has been under discussion for many years, Pritchin told the agency.
According to the Russian expert, Turkmenistan and Europe are primarily interested in implementing a large-scale project, and this project has high political significance.
The expert recalled that last year the Protocol on cross-border projects in the Caspian was adopted, which governs the implementation of such projects.
“The document was adapted and adopted by all the Caspian littoral states. But these are technical details. In the framework of this project, first of all, it is necessary to think about who will sponsor the project, since it is not cheap, and how well the economic component of the supply of Turkmen gas to the European market is well developed, especially considering that at the moment there is a serious changing the European gas market, ”the expert said.
According to him, Azerbaijan also feels this by joining TANAR and TAP, the implementation of which is in its final stages.
“The pricing environment in the European market has seriously changed since Azerbaijan was building its infrastructure, primarily because a large amount of liquefied natural gas is supplied to Europe, which worsens the pricing environment for suppliers. Accordingly, we have to dump and lower prices, which is not profitable for them,” said Pritchin.
The Russian expert is certainly right that the European gas market has changed in recent years, and the cost of gas has dropped significantly. How fatal is this for a project to supply Turkmen gas to Europe?
In gas trading, it is not accepted that the supplier disclose the cost of produced gas, it is always a secret behind seven locks. If the seller makes this information public, then he, as a rule, inflates it to justify the high cost of his goods. Moreover, most experts agree that the cost of Central Asian, and in particular, Turkmen gas is significantly lower than that produced, say, in Urengoy.
The only factor in the production of Russian gas in the harsh conditions of the northern latitudes is worth a lot. However, both Gazprom and liquefied gas producers successfully sell their gas in Europe, and no one says that they have to dump. In general, large suppliers usually resort to outright dumping in order to oust the weak from the market.
Even the construction of a 300-kilometer Trans-Caspian gas pipeline cannot lead to any significant increase in the cost of the project for delivering Turkmen gas to Europe. This is the construction of 300 kilometers of the pipeline along the bottom of the southern sea, and not two and a half thousand two Nordic streams along the bottom of the cold Baltic Sea. Can you imagine what the difference is in terms of money and terms?
Therefore, the arguments of Stanislav Pritchin, of course, are important, but the opponents of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline are not as generous as he is. It is important for them to wrap up the project even at the stage of environmental impact assessment, not leading up to financial calculations. And then it suddenly turns out that the project is profitable.