Strategic Energy Transportation Corridor: Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan

Interesting analysis by John C.K. Daly about some possible projects that would see Russia gain the upper hand in the race to exploit the Caspian’s vast energy reserves, lead to the end of cheap Eurasian natural gas, and dramatically undermine the impact of American sanctions on Iran.

“…Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev provided more details about Moscow’s and Almaty’s intention to build an energy transportation corridor initially linking Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, but that would ultimately be extended westward to the Baltic and southward to the Persian Gulf. Nazarbayev said the corridor as envisaged would be “a large-scale, world-class high-tech system including a trunk motor road, a mainline rail link, an arterial communications line, electricity transmission lines and natural gas and oil pipelines.”

…If the proposed project comes to fruition, there will be two sets of losers — Eastern and Central European customers of Caspian energy and Western energy companies, largely locked out of the next phase of Caspian development. The project would also effective spell the end of Washington’s policy of sanctions against Iran, in place since 1979, as Persian Gulf ports are the obvious transit point for Caspian energy exports to the rapidly rising markets of South and East Asia, particularly India and China.

….If the proposed energy corridor comes to pass, then it will indeed be, as Khristenko noted, a project “set for 30-50 years.” Russia has the inside advantage of controlling all the Soviet-era westward Transneft pipelines and in the proposed scheme would be the point of contact for Europe, as Central Asian producers share no contiguous borders with their European customers. While the crystal ball is murky at best, one fact is indisputable — the era of cheap Eurasian natural gas exports is over.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 13th, 2007 at 5:04 am and is filed under China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, 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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