Diversification of Gas Export Routes Required in Turkmenistan
EWI Senior Fellow Danila Bochkarev spoke on April 26th at the SOCAR International Practical Conference on Caspian Basin and Central Asia: Trade, Logistics, Oil Processing and Oil and Chemistry in Baku, Azerbaijan. Bochkarev was quoted in a Bloomberg article arguing that there is a growing need for the diversification of gas export routes in Turkmenistan.
A growing need for the diversification of gas export routes is observed in Turkmenistan, said Danila Bochkarev, senior fellow at the economic security department of the EastWest Institute (Brussels).
Bochkarev made the remarks Apr. 26 at the SOCAR International Practical Conference on Caspian Basin and Central Asia: Trade, Logistics, Oil Processing and Oil and Chemistry in Baku dedicated to the 93rd anniversary of National Leader Heydar Aliyev.
Bochkarev said that Russia stopped buying Turkmen gas in 2016 as it does not need to buy gas in Central Asia due to the large volumes of its own gas.
Russian Gazprom company's gas purchases in this region can be stipulated by only political reasons, as in case of Uzbekistan, the analyst said.
Bochkarev said that Turkmen gas is mainly supplied to Iran through barter.
The analyst added that there is uncertainty with commercial supplies of Turkmen gas in this direction.
Moreover, Bochkarev reminded that the economy of China, the main importer of Turkmen gas, is being slowed down, which also creates certain risks for the export of Turkmen gas.
Supplying of Iranian gas to the market in connection with the lifting of sanctions will be a challenge for the Turkmen gas export as Iran and Turkmenistan will compete for the same markets -- European and South-East Asian ones, he said.
Bochkarev was speaking about the prospects of construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which will enable Turkmenistan to join the Southern Gas Corridor to transport its gas to Europe.
The analyst added that Moscow and Tehran oppose the construction of this pipeline.
Bochkarev said that the EU's strong political will and its readiness to enter into a serious clinch with Moscow and Tehran are required to implement this project.
Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of gas reserves -- 17.5 trillion cubic meters of gas. Currently, the country produces more than 75 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and it is planned to increase production to 230 billion cubic meters by 2030, most part of which will be exported.