Event — 01 October 2015

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 7

By Aygun Badalova – Trend:

Caspian region in general, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, maybe in the future Iran and Iraq, will be tremendous competitors for Russian gas, Ariel Cohen, the leading expert of the US Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, told Trend on “This Week in Focus” program episode.

There is plenty of gas in Turkmenistan and in Iran, said Cohen, who is also the director of the International Market Analysis, Ltd., specializing in the political risk analysis.

The total volume of gas in Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq equals or even exceeds the volume of gas in Russia, he said, adding that the value of that gas will be cheap.

Turkey is in a very good position to be that transit and hub country for the region, he said.

“Turkey wants to be a transit country, it wants also to be a hub,” Cohen said. “But Turkey also needs to understand that without the European market it cannot play that role.” “The Europeans understand Europe’s role as a big market for energy, big market for gas, they are threatening that they will develop the renewables to the point where a gas market will be extremely constrained, limited,” he said.

“The Europeans need to decide whose gas they want and do they want a pipe gas, liquid gas or they decide to go elsewhere, such as renewables, which have a lot of problems in terms of their cost right now,” Cohen said.

Cohen said that Turkey should also consider playing a positive role in the Eastern Mediterranean and help Cyprus, Israel, eventually, Lebanon and maybe even Syria to develop their offshore reserves and bring a pipeline via Turkey to Europe.

Another solution is to develop LNG (Liquefied natural gas), as well as to build a pipeline from Cyprus to Crete and from Crete to Continental Europe, he said.

Today, the Southern Gas Corridor is considered to be a priority energy project for Europe. It envisages transportation of gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe. This large project aims at diversifying the routes and sources of energy supply that will enhance the energy security of Europe.

At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the second phase of development of Azerbaijani gas condensate Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor project.

The gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of the field’s development will be exported to Turkey and to the European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

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