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The Southern Gas Corridor: Heading into the Home Stretch?


Trans-Adriatic-Pipeline-Selected-for-Shah-Deniz-Gas-TransportSecurity of gas supply is a priority for the European Union (EU) because it is critical to ensure that (1) supplies are not disrupted; (2) market can be competitive and (3) the EU cannot be blackmailed in foreign and security policy questions. Continue reading

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Russian Gas in the Southern Gas Corridor Could Undermine the EU’s Diversification Plans


TASS_1039167_468Gazprom has officially declared its willingness to use the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as a route to deliver gas to Europe. TAP is an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) which is one of the priority energy projects for the EU to ensure the continent’s security of supply from a non-Russian source. Continue reading

Injecting Russian Gas Into TAP: Downgrading Importance of Southern Gas Corridor


1l-Tap route.jpgFor the first time ever, Gazprom officially expressed interest in using the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to deliver Russian gas to Europe (Trend, January 24). During the European Gas Conference in Vienna, on January 24, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said that Russia’s upstream capacity is sufficient Continue reading

Perspective for Turkish Stream Project: Possible Scenarios and Challenges



Following the cancellation of South Stream, Russia announced its plans to reroute the pipeline to Turkey, instead of Bulgaria. The new pipeline was dubbed “Turkish Stream”, with same capacity of South Stream, but less vulnerable to EU competition law. “Turkish Stream” has also experienced delays due to the crisis in Russia-Turkey relations. However, following the recent normalization of bilateral relations, the project regained its momentum. Continue reading

TAP’s Fate after the Italian Referendum


Italian PM Renzi leads a news conference to mark 1000 days in the government, in RomeOn December 4, a referendum in Italy rejected the sweeping constitutional reforms proposed by the government, ultimately resulting in the resignation of Matteo Renzi from the prime minister’s post. One of the main proposed constitutional changes was the division of competences between the state and the regions on defining which governing body will retain the legislative power on “land-use planning” and “transport and distribution of energy.” Continue reading

Perspectives for Israeli Gas in Southern Gas Corridor Hampered by Economic Limitations


leviathan-gas-fieldIsraeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Dan Stav, announced, on November 6, that his country was “considering the possibility to transport its natural gas to Europe via the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline [TANAP] through Turkey.” Earlier, on October 14, Turkish presidential advisor Cemil Ertem declared that Turkey wants to connect Israel’s gas supplies to the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) —an energy transit corridor from Azerbaijan to Europe, of which TANAP is a key link Continue reading

SOCAR’s Complicated DESFA Deal Faces New Setbacks


0f975eb049Rovnag Abdullayev, the head of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR), told reporters on September 5 that his company is waiting for an explanation from the Greek government for its violation of the originally agreed-upon privatization terms for Greece’s Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) (Azernews.az, September 6). Continue reading

Greece appeared a “Gordian Knot” for Azerbaijan’s SOCAR


Background

On 21 June 2013, the Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR has won the tender to acquire the 66% share of the Greece’s Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA), which operates country’s gas transmission pipelines and distribution networks. The purchase accelerated the Shah Deniz Consortium’s decision on the final leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, by choosing the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline against the Nabucco-West, while SOCAR acquired 20% in TAP. Continue reading

Removal of sanctions from Iran: What does it promise for the Southern Gas Corridor?


Developments in the international relations system are unpredictable. It rapidly shifts from one phase to another, from cooperation to conflict or vice versa. The new alteration in the international order will be the Iran-West rapprochement, which has been initially observed following the interim nuclear agreement in November 2013 between Iran and P5+1 countries Continue reading

Resurrection of Nabucco Pipeline: Real or Myth?


Background

The energy history of East-West energy corridor has not started with Nabucco, but Nabucco was considered a crown-jewel of the Southern Gas Corridor. Nabucco Consortium was established with Ankara Agreement in 2009 by Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria to construct Nabucco gas pipeline with 31 bcm capacity from Turkey via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Austria. Nabucco was planned to be linked with South Caucasus Pipeline in Erzurum, Turkey and Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP) in Azerbaijan to deliver Azeri and Turkmen gas to Europe to decrease the EU’s gas dependence on Russia. Continue reading

Repercussions of Turkish Stream for Southern Gas Corridor: Russia’s New Gas Strategy


Photo credit: Business Insider

Photo credit: Business Insider

Background

On December 1 2014, during his official visit to Turkey, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of South Stream, blaming the EU for its “unconstructive” position. In fact, the realization of pipeline had become untenable as a result of various legal, political and financial issues, such as the EU’s Third Energy Package, the Ukraine crisis and the ensuing sanctions over companies involved in South Stream (Stroytransgaz and Gazprombank). Continue reading

Gas Policy of Greece under New Government: Russia, Turkic Stream and Diversification


Syriza

Credit: thepeopledemand.org

Russia and Turkic Stream

After the collapse of the USSR, Russia’s new political elite of early 1990s emerged with its liberal orientation, Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations and opposition to supporting anti-western governments. Whereas, Russia after 2000s under Vladimir Putin’s leadership pursued absolutely different path. Alongside with foreign policy, Russian natural gas policy is remembered mostly with gas crisis, gas cut-offs and monopoly of Gazprom in the neighboring European countries. Continue reading

The New Greek Government: Implications for Azerbaijan’s DESFA Purchase


Click photo to get PDF version of article from CCEE

Background

The victory of the leftist Syriza party in the recent Greek elections was largely welcomed by Moscow, not because the party’s policies are radically pro-Russian, but rather because its leadership has stated its resistance to a number of Brussels-led policies. In this sense there is a similarity to certain other European political parties in the EU member states, such as Jobbik (Hungary), National Front (France), and the National Democratic Party (Germany). Continue reading

Will the LNG save the EU[rope]?


imagesAs winter comes, the EU concerns about stability of gas supply amidst the Ukrainian crisis. That pushed EU to seek reliable sources to secure domestic gas supply. It is believed that LNG may protect the EU from possible gas supply disruptions from Russia. Currently the EU meets 25% of its LNG import from Norway, Qatar, Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt, Libya, Trinidad and Tobago and seeks LNG supply from the US, Qatar and Australia. Development of the LNG terminals in Europe is one of the main priorities in EU energy policy to weaken its reliance from single gas supplier. Continue reading

Perspective of the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas for the EU: Challenges for the Fifth Energy Corridor


Amid the Ukraine crisis, importance of diversification and lessening Russian gas monopoly over the EU gas market became one of utmost crucial missions for Union. In this context, Southern Gas Corridor’s role, which is considered fourth energy corridor, is inevitable. However, given the amount that SGC will pump to Europe, it won’t be sufficient to be game changer. There are plenty of alternatives for diversification of routes and sources. The hydrocarbon resources of Eastern Mediterranean might be next alternative for the EU’s diversification policy or maybe not. Continue reading

Energy Conflicts in the Energy Sub-Hubs of Eurasia: How to get rid of it?


eurasia-map1Eurasia, where focused most of the geopolitical theories, experienced numerous wars, conflicts, revolutions, and chaos and became a candidate for aforementioned tendencies. The main object for wars and conflicts were “to capture more territories” and “enlargement”, while main politics was “divide, share and conquer”. Continue reading

The New Trends in Russian Energy Policy following Third Presidency of Putin


The current Russian energy policy kept in memories only with its failures. Why? Every day I read dozen of news, articles, and columns about Russian energy policy. Almost in every piece I face with misleading information about Russian energy policy. Media is very strong ideological war tool and can manipulate mid-level community very easily with its baseless speculations. In my humble opinion, some news portal deliberately tries to blacken the energy image of Russia gained since Putin’s first presidency terms. However, Putin’s third presidency terms might be characterized with Russia’s successful steps toward “energy super-power” status. Continue reading

Energy Conflict Areas in Eurasia – From Geopolitics to Conflicts


Energy Conflict Areas in Eurasia

Energy Conflict Areas in Eurasia

From Geopolitics to Conflicts

From Geopolitics to Conflicts

How to survive in South Caucasian Strategic Games: Azerbaijani Diplomacy


South Caucasus – heartland of Asia, Europe and Eurasia, candidate for conflicts and center of geopolitical interests. After the collapse of the USSR, emerged new independent countries had to determine their new political course toward their neighbors and new partners. To survive from the geopolitical point of view and political triumph of the countries does not only depend on its geopolitical and geo-economical position in the region. The key factor is also strategic performance of political leader. In this context, Azerbaijani case is noteworthy. Continue reading

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