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EU backs Trans-Caspian pipelines

The European Union supports the construction of the Trans-Caspian oil and gas pipelines due to their technical and economic attractiveness, the EU Special Representative for Central Asia Pierre Moreau told journalists in Baku.

“We do not pursue any political goals,” Moreau said. The pipelines will diversify the energy supplies to Europe and will strengthen cooperation between the Central Asia and the Caucasus, he said. The outline cost of constructing the gas pipeline along the seabed of the Caspian Sea (taking into consideration today’s prices for services and construction materials) is $11.5 billion. Its carrying capacity may reach 22 billion cubic meter of gas per year. According to experts, the technical conditions of laying the pipeline are more profitable than that of the Blue Stream pipeline (from Russia to Turkey along the bed of the Black Sea), due to the Caspian Sea not being as deep and because of its more favorable nature.

The pipeline may be linked to the South-Caucasus pipeline, which is presently transporting gas from Azerbaijan’s gas and condensate field Shah Deniz to Turkey via Georgia. In future the gas may be pumped via Greece and Bulgaria to Italy and other European countries. Although, the carrying capacity of the South-Caucasus pipeline amounts to 20 billion cubic meter of gas a year, it will have free capacity for transportation due to the increasing gas demand in Azerbaijan. Furthermore, there are technical opportunities to expand the carrying capacity of the pipeline. (Trend Capital)