Turkmenistan, with the world’s fourth largest reserves of natural gas, is destined to play a crucial role in Eurasian energy security calculations. Future natural gas exports from Turkmenistan to Europe will not only bring about some technological advancement such as a platform ‘tie-in’ pipeline connecting two fields in the Turkmen and Azeri sectors but will also stimulate the conclusion of a long-term contract for building the Trans-Caspian Pipeline project and compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport options. The equation of Turkmenistan’s natural gas relations with regional powers has somewhat changed after the Turkmen-Russian gas crisis in 2009, which led to new dynamic market relations in the Caspian Sea region. Turkmenistan has launched a novel energy policy focusing on diversifying energy export routes and encouraging foreign direct investment to explore its vast natural gas resources.
Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan in European Gas Supply Security
Energy security has become an important international issue amid concerns about supply and transportation security from the Caspian region to Europe. An assessment of Turkmenistan’s natural gas and the transit county of Azerbaijan indicates that the risks of disruption on supply and transportation could be minimized. With a growing significance of global gas demand and trade, gas security is becoming an increasingly important and there is a need to arrange cooperation between the Caspian Sea neighbor countries. The article examines Turkmenistan as a natural gas supplier and Azerbaijan as a transit country and also clarifies the role of Turkey as an energy hub country in the Eurasian energy environment. The authors suggest that the key question of the Caspian region is not the gas extraction itself but its transportation to markets. Therefore, it examines the diversification of Turkmenistan’s transport options, especially with China. The research also provides an energy profile of Turkmenistan and possible scenarios for Caspian natural gas export through Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey.
Turkmenistan has launched a novel energy policy focusing on diversifying energy export routes and encouraging foreign direct investment to explore its vast natural gas resources.
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