The construction of a gas trunk line, called Line D, via Tajikistan to China is definitely positive for Turkmenistan, even if it makes the country that much more reliant on China, Andrew Neff, a principal analyst with the IHS Petroleum Sector Risk team, reported.
Neff says that Turkmenistan is solely reliant on China in gas issues since Gazprom previously halted imports of Turkmen gas and the payment dispute with Iran has prompted Turkmenistan to stop supplies to the Islamic Republic.
At the same time, Turkmen gas deliveries to Kazakhstan are minimal and seasonal in nature, according to the expert.
“The construction of additional lines means that Turkmenistan is at least keen to increase the volume of gas it supplies to China, particularly after slower demand growth in 2016,” he said.
He further noted that the prospects for other gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, such as Trans-Caspian pipeline, TAPI or others will not be impacted.
“I think the prospects for TAPI and the Trans-Caspian are relatively independent of Line D. TAPI may succeed or more likely fail on its own merits, due to security issues and Turkmenistan’s inability to attract external investment,” Neff said.
Talking about the Trans-Caspian pipeline, the expert noted that this project was being held up by the inability of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to agree on a maritime border and subsequent joint development of the Kapaz/Serdar oil and gas field.
“The Caspian Sea border agreement and joint development deal could pave the way for construction of the Trans-Caspian, provided both countries have the political will to proceed in the face of expected Russian and Iranian opposition. However, one would expect the EU, the US, and Turkey to support the project,” he said.
China’s CNPC started construction of Tajik section or Line D of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan-China gas pipeline on July 26.
The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline Project, involving laying of a 300-km gas pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan, is optimal for the delivery of Turkmen energy resources to the European market. Further, Turkmen gas can go through existing pipelines to Turkey, which borders European countries.
The project may be implemented as part of the huge Southern Gas Corridor project designed to transport gas from the Caspian region to European countries. Negotiations on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline among the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan began in September 2011. (AzerNews/Business World Magazine)
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