Advanced selection of Southern Energy Corridor Gas Pipeline Projects: What this means for Turkey and its Neighbourhood
19 September 2013, 1 - 5 PM CET
TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois, 13, Brussels 1040
Europe's quest to diversify the source of its gas supply appeared to receive a major boost at the end of June this year, when a consortium responsible for the development of Azerbaijan's vast gas reserves selected the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the designated route to carry Caspian gas to the EU. The decision of the Shah Deniz II consortium to select TAP appeared to put to rest more than 10 years of uneasy negotiations amongst different energy groups as to which pipeline route would carry some 10 billion cubic meters per year of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
That said, while the Southern Energy Corridor (SEC) project is now coming much closer to fruition, it still appears to be subject to elements of risk and uncertainty. Gazprom's competitor project — the South Stream gas pipeline — is building up a head of steam, while negotiations on the TANAP gas pipeline, intended to link Turkey to Azerbaijan, are incomplete. Indeed, Turkey's role has, and will remain, a key linchpin in the entire SEC discussion for years to come. This is not only due to its strategic geographic position as "gatekeeper" for Europe-bound Caspian gas, but also due to the fact that the country has its own "heavy duty" energy security agenda, which we so often tend to take for granted in Europe.
On September 19 Cenk Pala enlightened us on what advanced selection of SEC gas pipeline routes really means for Turkey and how it is viewed inside the country. Speaking in a personal capacity and off the record, Dr Pala elaborated on where Turkish energy security interests intersect with those of Europe, and where they may diverge. He further assessed the impact this may have for the future livelihood of the SEC and overviewed the scenarios that we can now expect to evolve in the debate over the Europe-bound Caspian gas value chain.
TAP Government Affairs Adviser, Turkey
Regulatory Affairs and Business Development Manager, Enerjisa Gas Company