A few days ago construction work was launched on the Afghan section of the Turkmenistan– Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, which aims to bring natural gas from the Gylkynish and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Azerbaijani Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov attended the ceremony which took place in Serhetabat, Turkmenistan. In an interview with AZERTAC`s correspondent dispatched to Serhetabat, Parviz Shahbazov shared his views on the importance of TAPI.
What is Azerbaijan’s attitude about TAPI? How important is it to participating countries and to the entire region?
I think that diversification is highly important to both producer and consumer countries. Today four countries – Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – are implementing this huge regional project. Of course, this would be of benefit to countries: it will contribute to the development of economy and have a positive influence on citizens` welfare. So, first of all, these four countries will benefit from the project. At the same time, I think, this is a project that can improve welfare of not only participating countries, but the entire region. I’ve spoken to representatives of several neighboring countries. There are plans to involve a few more countries in this project in the future.
EU is interested in Turkmen gas and conducts negotiations with Turkmenistan to link this pipeline with the Southern Gas Corridor. Is it really possible?
Negotiations on this have been ongoing for a while and we have special formats in this regard. One of these formats is the negotiations of the EU with Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. It is a fact that construction of the Southern Gas Corridor continues successfully. It is even ahead of schedule. The project is already entering the final phase. Turkmenistan has recently been showing greater interest in this project. It can be evidenced by the fact that Senior Advisor to the Turkmen President Yashygeldi Kakaev attended the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council.
And Turkmenistan`s interest in this project was clearly highlighted in his speech during the event. This is a very positive case. As neighboring countries both Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan carry out certain activities in energy sector.
We now enjoy successful cooperation with Turkmenistan. For instance, Turkmen oil is transported to Europe through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main oil export pipeline. We have very interesting projects. I think that the possibility of Turkmenistan’s joining the Southern Gas Corridor is quite real.