The Netherlands considers the completion of the southern gas corridor (SGC) in 2020 to be an important event, according to the Russian Oil-and-Gas Information Agency.
Although being geographically unrelated to the Southern Gas Corridor, the Netherlands always held it geopolitically important to ensure energy security by diversifying oil and gas imports to Europe. In this sense, they envisage the completion of the southern gas corridor next year as an important milestone.
Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe are expected within the scope of 10 billion cubic meters from the beginning of 2020. In addition, six billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas will be supplied to the Western regions of Turkey. These supplies began in summer of 2018.
The report emphasizes despite the fact that at the initial stage only about 5% of imported gas will enter Europe through SGC, the growth potential is obvious here.
According to gas market experts, the SGC potential will be revealed if gas from other sources is connected to the pipeline. Among the possible future gas suppliers are called Iraq, Turkmenistan and even Israel. All these sources have their benefits and implications.
For Turkmenistan, the only and very serious drawback is the necessity to lay on a so-called Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline under the sea to connect to the SGC. Although the construction of such facilities is large-scale carried out in the world, and do not present a great difficulty for oil and gas companies, Turkmenistan’s neighbors in the Caspian Sea, in particular, Iran and Russia are not “particularly glad” to the prospect of constructing the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, citing environmental reasons.
Perhaps, in view of such a mood of neighbors, Ashgabat has not recently promoted this project, focusing mainly on gas supplies to Russia, China, as well as the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline and chemical complexes for processing natural gas in the country.
But the lances around the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline are breaking even without the participation of Ashgabat. Europeans themselves bring up this point, as the special representative of the European Union in Central Asia Peter Burian told during the 1st Caspian Economic Forum.
Thus, the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline topic cannot be considered completely closed. The situation will become more or less clear after Azerbaijani gas supplies reach Europe in 2020. Then it will become clear whether Baku will draw upon its own resources or gas from other countries will be needed.