Pipe Down: A Summary of Central Asia’s Pipeline Wars

 As always, an interesting post by Steve Levine, discussing the U.S. failure to match Russia so far in the European pipeline war.  Since I’ve discussed various pipeline (and a few pipe dream) initiatives of late, I found this article to be a useful summary:

“….Europe relies on Russia for more than 30% of its oil and natural gas. In the pipeline wars, Russia has proposed three primary natural gas pipelines: one strengthening its effective monopoly on Turkmenistan’s and Kazakhstan’s exports, another combining their natural gas with Russia’s own and shipping it to northern Europe (“Nordstream”) and a third shipping the gas to southern Europe (“South Stream”).

Together, these pipelines would further isolate Central Asia from the rest of the world, and they would put Europe further at the mercy of Russia, which has compiled a record of using petro-power as a blunt instrument for political and economic influence.

A good start on leveling their impact would be the proposed trans-Caspian pipeline, which would carry Turkmen, Kazakh and Uzbek natural gas to Baku and on to Turkey for onward shipment to Europe.

For it to get off the ground, the Turkmen would need to be prepared for serious heat from Vladimir Putin.

And the U.S. would have to assure the republic that Washington would stand behind Turkmenistan as it did with Azerbaijan to promote construction of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, which last year shattered Russia’s monopoly on oil exports from the region.…”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 at 7:20 am and is filed under Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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