The power of precedent, or What Gazprom should fear

The power of precedent, or What Gazprom should fear

The opening of the Power of Siberia Russian gas pipeline to China overshadowed the launch of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), designed to supply Azerbaijani gas to Turkey and further to Europe.

Although this event may have more far-reaching consequences than the start of deliveries of Russian pipeline gas to China. Indeed, as Irina Dzhorbenadze writes on the Rosbalt website, Azerbaijan “cut a window to Europe” not only for its gas, but – so far theoretically – for the “blue fuel” of other countries of the Caspian region.

For ORIENT’s editorial, this material is interesting because experts, modeling various situations in the global energy market, continue to take into account the influence of the Turkmen gas potential on regional and global energy projects.

According to Irina Jorbenadze, although export from Azerbaijan will amount to only 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year, of which only 10 billion cubic meters should reach Europe, nevertheless, Azerbaijani gas transit through Turkey will very soon appear on the European market.

The journalist notes that given that last year Gazprom delivered nearly 201 billion cubic meters to Europe and Turkey, Azerbaijan will be able to “bite” a small (so far) piece of the Russian supplier’s European pie. “Subsequently, it can double, and if Turkmenistan helps, even grow by four times,” Jorbenadze emphasizes.

In her opinion, at this stage it is a “precedent” for Gazprom to have a competitor, and it should not be afraid of Azerbaijan, but Turkmenistan and the United States with their liquefied gas.

Jorbenadze explains that American LNG is dangerous because in the medium term, with the development of new production technologies, it may become cheaper and become a real competitor to pipeline gas from Russia. She does not talk about the danger of Turkmen gas. But we must assume that there is a lot of it, and that a large part of the pipeline through which it can reach Europe has already been built.

At the same time, the journalist emphasizes that it is still difficult for Azerbaijan to fulfill its export obligations alone – that is, to supply gas to neighboring Georgia, Turkey, the European market, and even satisfy domestic needs. According to official sources, Baku, according to the results of the year, will reach 24 billion cubic meters. However, taking into account domestic consumption, gas for export remains either end-to-end or even not enough. And this means that Azerbaijan will have to buy gas from Iran and (or) Russia, which took place earlier.

“SGC would not have known any problems with filling the pipe if Turkmenistan had fully connected to it through the underwater Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. … But the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, despite the active support of this project by the European Union (in words), is unprofitable for Russia and Iran – a competitor will appear. Moreover, their “iron” argument is that it is a threat to the environmental safety of the sea,” Jorbenadze writes.

According to her findings, Turkey finds itself in a mega-win, Azerbaijan enters a new European market, and although the new gas pipeline cannot compete with the Turkish Stream, it is still able to slightly push Gazprom with its two Nordstreams.