Monday, September 01, 2014


Qishloq Ovozi

Sanctions On Russia Open Southern Corridor

Gazprom launches production at a northern Russian gas plant (file photo)
Gazprom launches production at a northern Russian gas plant (file photo)
Amid events in Ukraine, the European Union is pondering how to decrease its dependence on Russian energy supplies. Already there is talk in Europe, and further away, that as the door to Russian resources closes a bit, the Southern Corridor should finally be opened and realize its potential.
 
The major hold-up for the Southern Corridor has been the reluctance of Caspian Basin countries, particularly the Central Asian countries, to sign on to any deals until they could see work starting on pipelines. The European side has been waiting for the supplier countries to commit contractually to energy projects before starting construction of pipelines.
 
But both sides were able to delay making big decisions because of Russia, which supplied Europe with gas and oil and which provided Caspian Basin countries with existing energy-export routes.
 
Now, not only is the EU more determined to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies, but there is also the real possibility that sanctions or an outright suspension of Russian gas through Ukrainian pipelines could leave EU countries with insufficient energy supplies and Caspian Basin countries with a glut of oil and gas.
 
Kazakhstan’s oil and gas minister, Uzaqbai Qarabalin, told parliament on April 7 the country is looking for additional export routes and named the reason why the issue is important now: fear that sanctions on Russia might leave Kazakhstan without its primary export route.
 
Kazakhstan exports about one-third of 82 million tons of oil the country produces via Russian pipelines. Qarabalin suggested Kazakhstan’s export potential via Russian pipelines could become limited and said, “We have to think about other possibilities.”
 
While Qarabalin did not specifically mention the Southern Corridor, he did speak about using Kazakhstan's Caspian Sea port at Aktau, which is one of the links the EU incorporates into its plans for the corridor.
 
The EU “Southern Corridor” project envisages a network of pipelines, railways, roads and tanker fleets carrying oil and gas from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and possibly Uzbekistan, to Europe.
 
The project has made slow progress since the plan was unveiled in Prague in May 2009, just months after a dispute between Kyiv and Moscow left large areas of eastern and central Europe with greatly reduced supplies of gas.
 
But there has been some progress in the Southern Corridor scheme in the last five years, and Aktau is one example.
 
Aktau is undergoing massive expansion and renovation and could, according to Qarabalin, ship up to 20 million tons of oil annually within a couple of years.
 
Kazakhstan is building up its tanker fleet, as is Turkmenistan, to ship oil and other petroleum products from the eastern Caspian to the Caucasus in the western Caspian.
 
Late last year, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan renewed an agreement -- suspended over a pricing dispute in 2010 -- for shipping Kazakh oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. This year, Kazakhstan is due to export 4 million tons of oil through the BTC pipeline. Turkmenistan is also regularly sending tankers to Baku with oil to be pumped into the BTC.
 
Qarabalin also mentioned Georgia’s Black Sea port at Batumi, where Kazakhstan owns the marine terminal. This route involves transportation from Baku by rail; and in order to better service shipments between the Caspian and Black seas, Azerbaijan has in the last few years purchased hundreds of special railway wagons to carry oil and LNG and upgraded the railway lines.
 
Azerbaijan is the critical link for the Southern Corridor. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry specifically mentioned Azerbaijan as part of Europe’s energy future during a U.S.-EU Energy Council meeting in Brussels on April 2. Kerry said part of the priority for European energy security “is going to be to look at how do we get more natural gas through...the Southern Corridor, from Azerbaijan to Turkey and on to Europe.”
 
Azerbaijan and Turkey have already started a new gas route in the Southern Corridor with the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), which in Europe will become the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and bring up to 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Azerbaijani gas through Greece and Albania, across the Adriatic Sea to Italy.
 
There are also several projects that could significantly boost the amount of gas Caspian Basin countries could send to Europe via the Southern Corridor. Among them are the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, the White Stream pipeline to carry Caspian gas to Romania and Ukraine, and even an evolved version of the Nabucco pipeline project, once the EU’s choice for a gas pipeline between the Caspian and Europe.
 
More routes would be needed as Russia currently supplies Europe with some 280 bcm of gas and between 70 percent and 80 percent of Russia's 230 million tons of oil exports goes to Europe.
 
But the economic need for the Southern Corridor to open wide has never been greater, and both Europe and the countries of the Caspian Basin have new impetus to see the plan realized.

-- Bruce Pannier
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 09, 2014 23:41
Double-faced "Strviatnik" has more than two heads,
but one rotten soul - the "Union of Russian People".
Read "All about nations and tribes populating lands,
occupied by Russian Empire" and "All about Jews",
published before Russian Revolution by Romanovs.
_________________________________________
How deal with terrorists-spies occupying government
Buildings?
1.
PROTECT MAJORITY OF UKRAINIANS IN SUCH
REGIONS - THEY WERE INTIMIDATED BY THE
GOLODOMOR, REPRESSIONS AND HOOLIGANS
OF THE RUSSIAN INFLUX, EVEN AFTER WW2 -
IT IS BETTER TO SENT TO THEM RELATIVES OR
FRIEND AND SECURE THEM FROM TELEPATHS,
NLW (korobochkas and chemodanchiks) AND OTHER
FORMS OF RUSSIAN INTIMIDATION.
2.
THAN MOVE IN PEACE SUPPORTED BY LOCALS,
TO SHOW TO THE WORLD WHO ARE UKRAINIANS,
TO CENTERS OF DISTURBANCES, ORGANIZED BY
EXPANDING RUSSIA - BE INTELLIGENT, THEY USE
WELL ORGANIZED HOOLIGANS FROM SECRET
ARMIES - PROBOKE, BEAT AND KNIFE PEOPLE.
3.
ACT ACCORDINGLY, BUT REMEMBER - UKRAINIANS
ARE ON THEIR LAND AND MUST BE JUST TO ANYBODY,
INCLUDING ANTI-UKRAINIAN RUSSIANS - WORLD IS
WATCHING, WHILE USURPERS OF RUSSIA AND
OLD USSR CAN'T WAIT TO GET YOU!
In Response

by: Marco Bond from: London
April 12, 2014 18:34
I agree. The real Ukranians are the children of Lvivians who emigrated to the U.S.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 12, 2014 23:13
Irony, Ivan the truth bender?
What Ivan the "vor" dreams not be like British "Chistodel"?
What Ivan the "oboroten'" dreams not be like James Bond?
What Nazi Ivan lies not he is Big Brother of Slav Marco?
___________________________________________
Well, "Marco Bond", real Ukrainians are all its citizens,
Including some dozens of millions that emigrated from
starving and enslaving them bestial Russia - most now
in Canada and all over, enslaved in Russia and Siberia,
after they moved most industries, USSR best eastward
forge WW2 machines and won WW2 against Germany,
Families of "Golodomor", Russia intimidate in Donetsk,
and even Russians, most of them want stay in Ukraine!
Even small crowds of pro-Russia, supporting hooligans,
afraid or hope to prosper by enslaving there Ukrainians.
____________________________________________
{Russian bandits raiding over Ukraine. I heard stories of
Russians coming even to Western Ukrainians, harassing
Self-employed and businesses, demand jobs and do not
Pay for it, inviting "creditors" to Donetsk to murder them
And Russians in Donetsk refuse to investigate.
It happened to me since childhood in Moscow and staffed
By Russian occupiers Kishinev. I closely survived number
of assassination attempts – courts didn’t accept my cases,
instead they threatened kill me and my mother for Russia!}
_____________________________________________
Some WW2 "Bandera" Ukrainians did immigrate to USA
for reason of anticipated persecution, or guilty of crimes,
last sitting quiet in German neighborhood and dying out.
You probably referring to few WW2 "Bander" in the Lviv,
forced work for Russian occupiers, KGB, after the WW2.
Their assignment was to spy on rest, receiving amnesty,
but since Stalin was put under house arrest increasingly
forced create pseudo-image of few hundreds "followers"
of "UPA". It took some imagination of Russian occupiers
to transform centuries old Ukrainian symbol "UPA" used
also into labeling Ukrainians as Nazis smart propaganda.
_____________________________________________
It is the Russia that aggressing and enslaving Ukrainians!
Russian debt to Ukraine goes in trillions Russia squeezes
for last three centuries, specially during USSR, "reversed"
by lying-threatening economic and energy blockade game
and perpetual intervention of breeding Russian hooligans!
________________________________________________
UKRAINE, ONE OF FEW LARGEST IN EUROPE NATIONS,
MUST BE INDEEPENDENT, STRONG, DEMOCRATIC AND
PROSPER - It would be for Nazi Russian "Varaga-Prussaka"
like "Serpom po yaytcam" - they will not stop till Ukraine is no
more!
YANUKOVICH DID LAST DROP OF RISING INDIGNATION
IN UKRAINE, PUSHED TOTALLY ENSLAVE UKRAINIANS!
It is why Ukrainians are against it. However, Russia moving
too fast, they planed it increasingly since 1947-49, 1954-56
and it is opposition that awake nation marked for vanishing!
It happened that Eastern Ukrainians controlled by Russians
hold back - West and Central Ukrainians came first to Kiev.
So what? The rotten soul of the double-faced "Sterviatnik"
hate most West Ukrainians, still brave enough take bullets
of Russian assassins? Still have boxer Russia didn't beat?
Still have resilient enough men stay at burning campfires
at the walls of Tyranny?
Not unlike Ukraine units that stood alone in1941, disarmed
by Russian generals and fought for several month invading
USSR two third of German divisions?


by: Benergy from: USA
April 10, 2014 11:30
The escalation of the Ukraine crisis could provide just the push needed to get the Southern Route back on track. In addition to the EU wishing to reduce its reliance on Gas flowing through Ukraine there is also reduced appetite to flow gas from Russia. This is why Eni’s CEO was quoted as saying that he is not optimistic on the planned South Stream projects that is a consortium of Russian and European investors.

http://www.peakvol.com
In Response

by: Marco Bond from: London
April 12, 2014 18:38
Precisely, that is why Italy increased its gas consumption from Russia by about a quarter in two years.

by: Mamuka
April 10, 2014 12:36
One correction: I do not believe that the oil rail line goes to Batumi, but to some point closer to Poti.

A bigger question is whether even one drop of oil or the equivalent amount of gas from Kazakhstan (Qazaq Eli?) has gone across either the rail line or the BTC pipeline. I think the answer is still "no."
In Response

by: Rasto from: +++
April 26, 2014 20:42
There is an old terminal in Batumi and the new one north of Poti. Batumi -particularly from side of Sarpi smells of oil.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change. Content will draw on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad. The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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