Trans-Caspian gas pipeline impossible without definition of legal status

May 22, 2006 02:00 AM

Installation of the pipeline between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan is impossible without definition of legal status of the sea and consent of all littoral countries, Romin Mehmonparast, Iran’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan, said.
"The installation is untimely as the legal status of Caspian Sea is not defined yet and the consent of all littoral states is not on hand", the Ambassador said.

Iran’s diplomat shares common opinion with Victor Khristenko, Russian Minister of Industry and Energy, who said in February 2006 that decisions on installation of the pipeline along the Caspian seabed are only possible upon the final definition of its legal status.
Examination of possible construction of the gas Aktau-Baku pipeline along the seabed of Caspian Sea was stated in early May by Danial Ahmetov, in Baku.

The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline construction issue was raised yet the mid-90s by Turkey. However, due to discrepancies between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan on gas quotas, this $ 3-4 bn project was put off.
The EU suggested this project in early 2006 after the Ukraine energy crisis.

Richard Baucher, Assistant to US Secretary for South and Middle Asia, said that Bush administration is going to finance a feasibility study for the pipeline construction.
He said also the US government "is going to finance feasibility study for the countries of the region, first for Kazakhstan", to check out if "Trans-Caspian pipeline is useful and profitable".

Source: Trend
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