The construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline will allow supplying more natural gas to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor, leading expert of the Caucasus Studies Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan Aliyar Azimov writes in the Modern Diplomacy analytical magazine.
The author in the article “German-Russian energy relations and the South Caucasus” notes that the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project is of particular importance for the European Union to diversify energy supply routes, and Azerbaijan can play a connecting role between Europe and Asia.
“Azerbaijan will supply gas to Southern Europe through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP, part of the SGC) and plans to expand supplies to the most significant regions for the EU. The main point here is that if the Trans-Caspian pipeline project [involves gas supplies from Turkmenistan through Azerbaijan to Europe] is implemented, the Southern Gas Corridor will be able to supply Europe with a much larger amount of energy,” writes Azimov.
That is, if in aggregate, SGC will supply 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year (6 billion for Turkey, 10 billion for Europe), then the implementation of the Trans-Caspian pipeline will make it possible to significantly increase these figures.
According to the author, the EU and Germany support SGC, because it is the most optimal route for gas supplies from the Caspian Sea to European markets. At the same time, the Azerbaijani expert stresses that if the Trans-Caspian pipeline project is implemented, gas supplies from Iran, Iraq and Turkmenistan through Azerbaijan to Europe will become possible.
ORIENT has already written that out of all the above-mentioned potential gas suppliers to the EU through SGC, only Turkmenistan has real possibilities. Even if one does not take into account that Iran is under sanctions, then the fact that Tehran, in need of gas, buys Turkmen fuel itself, cannot be ignored.
As for gas from Iraq, it should be understood that long-term supplies imply military-political stability in the region. This, unfortunately, cannot be said about the Middle East.
It is necessary to recognize the objectivity of the Azerbaijani expert. Now, when the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea has removed obstacles to the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, it has become somehow fashionable for regional media to doubt the gas “solvency” of Turkmenistan.
Experts, often representing reputable institutions, suddenly began to ask themselves questions that they had never before asked. The most popular of them – is there really so much natural gas in Turkmenistan? But Turkmen gas reserves are determined as a result of an independent audit conducted by the British company “Gaffney, Cline & Associates”. Until now, no one has questioned the qualifications and objectivity of the experts of this company.
In a word, there is a gas; it will not be an obstacle. All we need is a pipe across the Caspian. And Aliyar Azimov is right, when there will be a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline – there will be more gas to Europe..