Turkmen – Afghan – Pakistan Pipe Dreams / Turkmenistan’s Export Dilemma

In a recent analysis, John Daly illuminated the enormous challenges surrounding the long-discussed Turkmen-Afghan – Pakistan pipeline scheme through which those nations could gain access to the Caspian’s vast hydrocarbon reserves, particularly the greatest undeveloped prize in the Caspian: Turkmenistan’s immense natural gas reserves, estimated to be at 29 tcf, the fifth-largest of the world’s recoverable reserves.However, while both producers and markets would greatly wish for the project to succeed, not to mention the U.S. government’s desire to develop transit routes that avoid Russia or Iran, current geopolitical realities and mounting violence in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, deem otherwise. As the article notes, Turkmenistan’s export options are limited:

“…a trans-Caspian westward pipeline linking up to Azeri facilities is unlikely as long as status talks on the final division of the Caspian’s offshore waters among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan remain deadlocked. Moving Turkmen natural gas via liquefied natural gas shipments is also a non-starter, as Turkmenistan does not have the finances to build liquefaction facilities, ports or tankers, and even if it did, the Caspian’s sole egress to the world’s oceans is via the Volga-Don Canal, and it seems most unlikely Russia would agree to the untrammeled traffic of tankers bearing away Turkmen LNG. Accordingly, pipelines remain Turkmenistan’s sole option for the foreseeable future…”

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 20th, 2007 at 3:44 pm and is filed under Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia.  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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