Senior officials from Azerbaijan, the European Union, Turkey and Turkmenistan recently met to discuss the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline that will deliver gas to Europe through Azerbaijan and Turkey. The main aim of the project is to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian gas, and Turkmenistan is also trying to diminish its export dependency on Russia as this is currently its main market. Both Turkey and Europe are looking at ways of diversifying their gas supplies.
Turkmenistan is willing to supply between 20 and 30 billion m³ of gas to Europe and the project is immensely important to Turkey. Not only will the project supply Turkey with additional natural gas resources, but should also help the country develop into a regional energy hub between Europe and Central Asia. It is anticipated that Turkey's demand for gas will increase by 77% by 2030.
Turkey is taking an active role in the region's energy security and is doing its best to source new alternatives, as there is always the worry that Russia will use its contract supplying gas to manipulate countries. Iran also supplies gas to Turkey, but at a very high price of $585 per thousand cubic metres.
Turkmenistan has some of the largest natural gas reserves in the world, and the plan is that they will flow through the Trans-Caspian line into the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP), that will run across Turkish and Azerbaijani land to join the Nabucco West pipeline on the western border of Turkey.
The TANAP pipeline could also feed into the Trans-Adriatic pipeline to deliver Caspian gas to Italy via Greece and Albania. Construction on the TANAP project is due to begin next year and it should be operational by 2018.