Turkey takes interest in Turkmen gas

Sept. 4, 2012 at 7:30 AM
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ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The Turkish energy minister said during a conference in Ashgabat that gas from Turkmenistan could make its way through infrastructure planned for Turkey.

Officials from Azerbaijan, the European Union, Turkey and Turkmenistan met in Ashgabat to discuss regional energy issues.

Reserves from countries bordering the Caspian Sea are viewed as key for European efforts to break the Russian grip on the energy sector.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said natural gas from Turkmenistan could make its way through Azerbaijan, Turkey and ultimately to European markets.

"We are a candidate to buy Turkmen gas," he was quoted by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet as saying. "Turkmenistan gas cannot stay out of the region's gas movement."

A pipeline from the BP-controlled Shah Deniz field in Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea, the Trans-Anatolian pipeline, would run through Turkish territory. Shareholders include the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, Turkish pipeline company BOTAS and state oil and gas company TPAO.

TAP is expected to carry as much as 353 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year. It could link to Nabucco West, a scaled-down version of the larger $10.4 billion pipeline proposal.

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