Turkey, Turkmenistan Seek Alternative Gas Supplies

By H. Hasanov

The Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who met the day before in the Caspian city of Turkmenbashi, expressed their intention "to develop cooperation in the sphere of supplies of Turkmen natural gas to world markets through alternative routes, the final joint communiqué, issued by the local media on Saturday, says.

"Turkmen state is the world's natural gas power, with enormous reserves of natural fuel, which will serve many generations of the Turkmen," President Gul said, supporting "intensification of collaboration in this direction."

> Turkey Map
President Berdimuhammadov stressed the "huge opportunities for transportation of the Turkmen natural gas to Turkey and the need for specific collaboration in this sphere."

On the eve of the talks, an independent expert, who wished to remain anonymous told Trend that "hoping to gain access to Turkmen gas, Ankara is ready for any variant, whether it's Nabucco, or gas compression for its transportation by tanker across the Caspian Sea or through Iran." In his opinion Turkey has long been ready to try on the role of a key manager of Caspian energy resources in the solvent markets in Europe.

Turkmenistan is a key supplier of natural gas in the Caspian region and the way to Turkey is needed, including for opening the road to Europe. In a recent statement the Foreign Ministry of the county said that the Turkmen side has concluded several agreements with major European companies, who show themselves as reliable, fair and predictable partners, including in the energy sphere. "

At the same time, European Union energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who participated in Ashgabat on the Gas Congress in April 2010, said that documents are being prepared with Turkmenistan on the Nabucco project. According to him, the sides agreed to create working groups.

Nabucco gas pipeline project is worth €7.9 billion. Construction of gas pipeline is planned to be launched in 2012, the first supplies - in 2015. Maximal capacity of the pipeline will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year. Nabucco participants are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE. Each has an equal 16.67-percent share.