EU backs Caspian pipeline negotiations to bring gas into Europe

12 September 2011 16:15  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The EU has adopted a mandate to negotiate a legally binding treaty with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in order to build a trans-Caspian pipeline system, it said on Monday.

The gas pipeline would help increase security of supply for European households and industry, and minimise the dependence on a few suppliers and the threat of potential gas cuts, the EU added.

The trans-Caspian pipeline agreement will set the basis for the construction of a submarine pipeline connecting Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, and in turn link this pipeline to infrastructure that will bring gas from central Asia to the EU, it said. No cost details were disclosed.

"Europe is now speaking with one voice. The trans-Caspian pipeline is a major project in the Southern Corridor to bring new sources of gas to Europe. We have the intention of achieving this as soon as possible,” said energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

The EU said that over past months it has engaged in regular dialogue with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, which have expressed the availability of substantial gas volumes, a willingness to sell to Europe and figure among the key potential gas suppliers for three pipelines – Nabucco, ITGI (Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy) and TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline).

By: Franco Capaldo
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