Tag Archives: pipelines

Taliban travel to Ashgabat for talks on TAPI gas pipeline

FEB. 7 2021 (The Bulletin) — Looking for security guarantees for the TAPI gas pipeline that it wants to build across Afghanistan, Turkmen officials held talks in Ashgabat with the Taliban. TAPI is an ambitious project, pushed by gas-rich Turkmenistan and part-funded by the Asian Development Bank, to build a pipeline across Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. One of the main problems with the project has been security concerns in Afghanistan.

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— This story was first published in issue 471 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Turkmenistan opens new gas compressor station

JAN. 16 2021 (The Bulletin) — Turkmenistan opened a new compressor station that it said would double the volume of gas pumped to China. Gas is the cornerstone of Turkmenistan’s economy and China is, by a wide margin, its largest client. The coronavirus, and the various measures taken to counter it, have forced a slump in demand for gas from China, hurting the Turkmen economy. Turkmen president Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said that the compressor station would double the volume of gas that could be pumped to China.

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— This story was first published in issue 469 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Caspian Sea gas reaches Central Europe

BAKU/JAN. 1 2021 (The Bulletin) —  Gas produced in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea which is then pumped through a 3,500km pipeline that cost $45b to build is now, finally, reaching central Europe.

The completion of the so-called Southern Gas Corridor is viewed in Europe as an important part of its strategy to reduce its reliance on Russia for gas supplies, and in Baku as the start of what Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev hopes will be a major boost for the economy.

“The Southern Gas Corridor will strengthen the system of global energy security. It has connected the Caspian region to Europe,” Azerbaijan’s energy ministry said in a statement after Greece, Bulgaria and Italy confirmed that gas had arrived through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, the final part of the Southern Gas Corridor.

The question analysts have posed, though, is not if gas will be delivered to Europe, but how much? There have been concerns that lockdowns imposed to control the coronavirus pandemic have dented demand for consumers for gas, although what is shaping up to be a cold European winter may have changed this thinking.

Linked pipelines running across Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the Balkans now pump gas directly from the BP controlled Shah Deniz 2 project in the Caspian Sea to Europe. 

The European Commission is keen on the project because it wants to reduce its dependency on Russia, which controls 34% of the European gas market.  It first floated the plan to build a pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Europe in 2008.

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— This story was first published in issue 467 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

New domestic gas pipeline opens in Kazakhstan

DEC. 27 2019 (The Bulletin) — Kazakhstan completed construction of the Saryarka gas pipeline that will run from the Kyzylorda region to Nur Sultan. The pipeline is important as it will pump extra gas to Nur Sultan and other cities along the route, including Karaganda, Temirtau and Zhezkazgan. The project to build the 1,061km pipeline was launched to improve Kazakhstan’s energy infrastructure.

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— This story was first published in issue 433 of the weekly Bulletin on Jan. 13 2020

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Italian company signs deal to give Turkmenistan technical support on gas pipeline

DEC. 5 (The Bulletin) — Turkmenistan’s national oil and gas company Turkmengas signed a deal worth around $13m, with Italy’s RINA to provide technical support for the construction of a planned gas pipeline that will run 214km across the country. Italy has been courting Turkmenistan for projects and, last month, Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov made a rare visit to the EU to meet with Italian leaders.
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— This story was first published in issue 431 of the weekly Bulletin on Dec. 9 2019

Copyright owned by the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline opens

BAKU/Nov. 30 (The Bulletin) –Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan officially marked the completion of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) which will pump gas from the South Caucasus across Turkey to Europe.

TANAP is the longest section of the 3,500km-long $38b Southern Gas Corridor. The first section connecting the BP-operated Shah Deniz II gas field in the Caspian Sea to Erdine, in eastern Turkey has already been open and next year the final section, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, running across Greece and the Balkans to Italy, will open.

In a speech in Ipsala, on the Turkey-Greece border, Mr Aliyev said that the project, which will give Azerbaijan’s economy a major boost through gas sales, was more than just a gas transit pipeline.

“This project leads to cooperation, stability, long-term mutual understanding, and it would be wrong to consider these projects simply as energy projects,” he said according to a statement on his website.

Construction of the pipeline, one of the world’s longest energy pipeline was started four years ago and has had the financial backing of European countries, the EU and various financial institutions such as the EBRD.

European countries want an alternative energy source to Russia, which has been their primary provider of gas.

When the Southern Gas Corridor does open next year it will pump an estimated 10b cubic metres of gas to Europe, enough power for up to 10m households.
TANAP’s shareholders are Azeri state energy company Socar with a 51% stake, Turkish pipeline operator BOTAS with a 30% stake, BP with 12% and Socar Turkey with 7%.
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— This story was first published in issue 431 of the weekly Bulletin on Dec. 9 2019

Copyright owned by the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

Kazakhstan wants to join Russian gas pipeline to China project

ALMATY/NOV. 25 (The Bulletin) –Kazakhstan wants to join a Russian project to increase gas supplies to China through a new pipeline, media reported by quoting Kazakh PM Askar Mamin.

China has become the biggest buyer of gas from Central Asia. It already buys most of Turkmenistan’s gas and Kazakhstan has been selling increasingly large volumes to China. Russia is due to start pumping gas through a new pipeline called The Power of Siberia to China on Dec. 2 and has already said that it is looking at options to build more gas pipelines running to China.

In comments to media, Mr Mamin said that Kazakhstan wanted The Power of Siberia-2 to run through its territory.

“Based on the environmental situation in the region, we are also considering the option of joining the future Power of Siberia-2 project,” he said. “Currently, gas prices are negotiated. We have offered Russia that (the pipeline) goes through Kazakhstan with an exit to the Chinese market.”

Gazprom signed a $400b deal in 2014 with China to supply 38b cubic metres of gas every year to China over the next 30 years.

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— This story was first published in issue 430 of the weekly Bulletin.

Chevron completes sale of Azerbaijani assets

BAKU/NOV. 4 (The Bulletin) — Chevron finalised a deal to sell out of major stakes it owned in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas sector, a reflection of the reduced US corporate interest in the region.

In the deal, Chevron sold its 9.57% stake in the Caspian Sea oil field Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG), Azerbaijan’s biggest oil producing project, and its 8.9% stake in the Baku-Tbilisi Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline for a total of $1.57b to Hungary’s MOL.

The California-based Chevron said in December it wanted to sell its assets in Azerbaijan. ExxonMobil has also said that it wants to sell off its smaller stakes in ACG and BTC.

For MOL, the deal gives it a bigger tie-in with Azerbaijan’s oil and gas sector, less than 12 months before Azerbaijan is due to start pumping gas to central Europe along a network of pipelines stretching from the Caspian Sea via the South Caucasus, Turkey and the Balkans.

“This transaction is an excellent fit to MOL’s current portfolio and the transaction contributes to the further transformation of MOL’s upstream segment into an international business by developing the company’s footprint in its core CIS region,” MOL said in a statement.

The deal is one of the biggest in MOL’s history and will add 20,000 barrels of oil per day to its production ACG has been producing oil since 1997, when the so-called ‘Deal of the century’ was signed between a consortium of Western partners led by BP and the Azerbaijani government.

Over the last eight years or so, its production has been declining, though, frustrating Azerbaijan’s government which has demanded increased investment by the partners.

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— This story was first published in issue 428 of the weekly Bulletin.

Turkmenistan to start exporting oil via Russia

JAN. 25 (The Conway Bulletin) — As part of improved bilateral relations, Turkmenistan will start pumping its oil via Russia, reducing flows through the BTC pipeline that runs from Azerbaijan, through Georgia to Turkey, analysts told Reuters. The reduction in Turkmen flows will also lower the quality of the oil from BTC as its oil is considered high-quality.
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>This story was first published in issue 398 of The Conway Bulletin on Jan. 31 2019
Copyright The Conway Bulletin 2019

Putin says Russia may join TAPI gas project

MOSCOW/DEC. 21 (The Conway Bulletin) – Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted at his annual press conference that he be may be willing to support the TAPI project that aims to pump gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to India and Pakistan.

Russian support for TAPI would give the project, devised and pushed strongly by Turkmenistan, a major boost. It comes at a time when Russia is mending damaged relations with Turkmenistan. Gazprom has said it will resume imports of gas from Turkmenistan for the first time since 2016.

At the televised annual press conference, Mr Putin said: “As far as we can, we will contribute to this process (building a stable Afghanistan), including by developing economic cooperation with Afghanistan, by taking part in various international projects, such as, for example, the TAPI.”

China is currently Turkmenistan’s dominant gas client.

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>>This story was first published in issue 395 of The Conway Bulletin on Dec. 23 2018