Caspian Brief: June 2, 2017
Turkmen gas to potentially transfer via Turkey
Once the Southern Gas Corridor has been commissioned, other gas sources including those from Turkmenistan can benefit from transfer to other markets via Turkey, the head of the transit petroleum pipelines department at Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Ashgabat International Energy Charter Forum, Reha Akyul Muratolu said that Turkey has diversified natural gas supplies by sourcing gas from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran.
To meet this demand, Turkey is actively seeking diversification of sources through various projects including those of the Southern Gas Corridor whose value chain is $45 billion.
Although no agreements have been made between Turkey, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and EU on the delivery of Turkmen gas to Europe, discussions are ongoing to this end.
“Discussions and negotiations between the parties have been continuing for some time. So far no concrete outcome has been achieved but we are hopeful,” he said.
He also affirmed that the Eastern Mediterranean is an emerging energy source in the world.
12 wells in SGC ready to deliver gas to Turkey in 2018
Overall value chain and elements of the Southern Gas Corridor project include 26 subsea wells of which 12 have already been drilled and are fully ready to start delivering gas to Turkey in 2018, said deputy vice-president for investments and marketing of SOCAR Vitaliy Baylarbayov.
He made the remarks during the 24th Caspian International Oil and Gas Conference in Baku June 2.
“Southern Gas Corridor is a unique project for Azerbaijan and Europe. This is a project which will provide a new source of energy supply,” said Baylarbayov.
Southern Gas Corridor will also ensure energy diversity, he said, adding that what also will this project add into the European energy picture is the interconnectivity.
He pointed out that construction of the Southern Gas Corridor will bring new technologies, economic growth and jobs.
“More than 30,000 jobs the SGC brought only to Azerbaijan and Georgia,” he said. “If we talk about the whole length of the pipeline, more than 40,000 people in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Albania, Greece and Italy are working to implement this project.”
The Southern Gas Corridor envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor project. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
European Investment Bank to fund Kyrgyzstan’s agricultural sector
“We want to focus on the development of rural areas and agriculture, a key economic sector of Kyrgyzstan,” Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Vazil Hudák told Minister of Finance of Kyrgyzstan Adylbek Kasymaliyev as the two met here in Bishkek on June 2.
According to Hudák, the EIB will provide mid- and long-term funding for private businesses working in the field of agriculture.
“The project will support manufacturing, recycling and other agriculture-related entrepreneurs in all regions of Kyrgyzstan. It will facilitate replacement of outdated equipments that inefficiently consume resources. It is also expected that the program will have an EU grant component,” Tazabek reported Hudák as saying.
Uzbek, Russian officials discuss migration cooperation
Uzbek Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Aziz Abduhakimov on 31 May received a delegation of the Russian Federal Service for Labour and Employment (Rostrud) led by its deputy head, Mikhail Ivankov.
Abduhakimov said that a number of interstate and intergovernmental agreements and contracts, including an agreement between the governments of Uzbekistan and Russia on organized recruitment of Uzbek citizens for temporary employment in Russia were signed during Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s state visit to Russia on 4-5 April 2017.
The sides noted that the agreement had been signed due to the long-standing need for streamlining and legally regulating the processes of the movement of workforce between the two countries and ensuring the protection of the rights and legal interests of labor migrants. They particularly stressed that the internationally recognized principles of cooperation in labor migration had been enshrined in the agreement.
Tajikistan, Uzbekistan close to having demarcated border
A three-day meeting on delimitation and demarcation of the Tajik-Uzbek state border between the working groups of government delegations of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan has ended in Dushanbe.
The meeting discussed the issue of where on its remaining sections the Tajik-Uzbek border should pass through. The meeting ended with the signing of a protocol, the Tajik Foreign Ministry’s information department reported.
At the talks, the Tajik delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmadsharif Haqdod and the Uzbek delegation was led by the ambassador at large, Ilhom Nematov.
In the meantime, according to an Asia-Plus source in government circles, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan may, before the end of this year, fully resolve issues relating to disputed sections on the border between the two countries and sign a corresponding inter-state agreement.
Russian Iskander missiles first used in drills in Tajikistan
Russia’s Iskander-M ballistic missile system has for the first time been used abroad in joint anti-terror exercises in Tajikistan, the Prague-based Tajik news website Akhbor reported on 1 June.
“The Iskander-M missile systems were used for the first time in an exercise outside of Russia and a ballistic missile eliminated a concentration of simulated militants,” the website quoted spokesman for Russia’s Central Military District Col Yaroslav Roshchupkin as saying. He said the missile was launched from Tajikistan’s Lohur military range, some 140 km from the target, on 1 June.
Russia has deployed the Iskander-M, which is a big system launched off a truck, to Syria and provided some to Armenia, but this is the first case of its use in such an exercise abroad.
An Uragan multiple-launch rocket system unit, which has recently been set up at the 201st Russian base in Tajikistan, and a group of long-range bombing aircraft have also hit simulated targets during the drills, Roshchupkin also said.