European Union Seeks Caspian Gas to Limit Russian Imports

Baku Azerbaijan
The sun sets on Baku, Azerbaijan (iStock/Photo Aliona)

The European Union seeks to form strategic partnership with natural gas producers around the Caspian Sea to lessen its dependence on Russian imports, an energy proposal released on Wednesday showed.

The Financial Times reports that the European Commission is stepping up a “charm offensive” in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan “in a drive to put the gas-rich but politically sensitive countries at the heart of the bloc’s energy strategy.” Read more “European Union Seeks Caspian Gas to Limit Russian Imports”

Chinese Leader Follows Silk Road, Signs Energy Deals

While the American “pivot” to Asia seems stalled in light of the Syrian crisis, China’s pivot west, to Central Asia, is in full swing. Crisscrossing the region, in a path reminiscent of the Silk Road, President Xi Jingping has been making numerous well received speeches and deals from Ashgabat to Astana.

Unsurprisingly, many of the agreements arising from this trip relate to the energy sector. In Turkmenistan, the Chinese leader helped inaugurate the start of production at the world’s second largest gasfield, Galkynysh, while also finalizing a deal for the Chinese state-owned energy corporation, China National Petroleum Corp, to build facilities which should process 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Read more “Chinese Leader Follows Silk Road, Signs Energy Deals”

Turkmenistan Finally Puts the “T” in TAPI

On Wednesday Turkmenistan finally signed agreements with India and Pakistan’s state energy companies to clear the way for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

TAPI was conceptualized in the 1990s and has been beset with a multitude of problems since. Wednesday’s announcement removes a major obstacle for the TAPI project but many more remain.

The pipeline would begin in Turkmenistan’s vast gasfields. Initial TAPI plans called for the source to be the Dauletabad field in southern Turkmenistan. More recent plans indicate that a portion of TAPI would come from the yet to be developed South Yolotan field near the Afghan border. Read more “Turkmenistan Finally Puts the “T” in TAPI”