Today it became known that the EBRD is going to make a final decision on October 18 to allocate a tranche for the Transanatolsky Pipeline (TANAP) project or the Southern Gas Corridor. Its political and economic goal is multi-vector – increasing the security of gas supplies to Europe, reducing the share of Russia as a gas supplier and excluding Ukraine as a gas transit.
It should be noted that 51% of shares of Southern Gas Corridor belong to the government of Azerbaijan.
As for the project participants and their goals – an exclusive comment by Alexander Asafov, a political scientist:
“The situation around Azerbaijan’s claims to serious participation in the global gas market has been developing for several days and has not reached its decisive phase. Despite the availability of extracted, explored and anticipated gas reserves in the fields of Shah Deniz, Absheron, Umid and Babak, at the moment there is not enough gas even for self-sufficiency of Azerbaijan.
In the context of Baku’s financial problems, entering the European gas market can really become a solution to problems, but in any case it is a matter of the future, which still needs to be reached. The expansion of production will begin not earlier than 2018, and the start of production at the explored deposits – after 2021, that is, the European consumer will not soon see Azerbaijani gas passed through Turkish pipes. Money is also needed for the development of mining, and for the construction of infrastructure projects. The means of the EBRD, the decision to allocate which will be adopted in October, will not significantly affect the situation.
Turkey’s position to develop a gas hub increasing flows from all available sources is clear, but joint projects with Azerbaijan have no influence and will not affect Russian-Turkish projects, as well as Russian-European relations.
The situation with the new expansion package of Washington sanctions remains an important factor, according to which European companies will not be able to cooperate on the Nord Stream-2 project, but this issue has not yet been resolved, and it is the decision that lies in the prospects for the development of the European energy market.
In any case, neither Germany, nor Turkey, nor Russia or Azerbaijan are interested in deliveries of American LNG. This means that the listed countries will rather cooperate against the American gas expansion and create a healthy competitive environment, cooperating on the principles of synergy, as well as not conflicting with each other. “
The initial capacity of the Southern Corridor is expected to be 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year. About six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey, and the rest – to Europe. The total cost of the project is estimated at 8.6 billion US dollars.