Turkey offers India alternative to Iranian pipeline

Feb 10, 2008 01:00 AM

For India, looking to diversify its energy sources, Turkey has just offered an exciting and potentially viable alternative that could get Central Asian and Caucasian oil to India's doorstep -- and without breaking the bank.
During his visit to India, Turkey's foreign minister Ali Babacan (the first visit by a Turkish foreign minister in 30 years) has proposed that oil from Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and even Georgia be transported through Turkey's massive pipeline infrastructure to Ceyhan port. Travelling through the Mediterranean Sea in super tankers, the oil will then be fed into Israel's Ashkelon-Eilat pipeline, while super tankers pick it off from the Gulf of Aqaba port of Eilat and back again on super tankers to India.

"According to our calculations, this will give India a unique opportunity to access Central Asian oil, and will be quicker and, according to our energy experts, even cheaper," said Babacan.
"It will also bypass the crowded Suez Canal route, which only takes very small ships. Most important, for India's booming economy, it gives India an alternative source of oil," he added.

The proposal, which has been made to the Indian government, is currently being "examined" by New Delhi. But energy officials are quietly excited about the prospect of this new route.
Currently, none of India's imported oil travels through the Suez Canal. Most of it comes from the Persian Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Dubai) and the rest that comes from Venezuela, Nigeria and Colombia travel around southern Africa's Cape of Good Hope.

But two important considerations have made it imperative for India to seek alternative sources and alternative routes for its oil -- first, the persistent instability in the Persian Gulf area means that any conflict say, with Iran, will see a virtual collapse in oil supplies to India.
Second, India needs to source as much energy as it possibly can, because power, or lack thereof, could become the greatest hindrance to India's economic story. This route also opens up the vast Central Asian oil reserves for exploitation by India, which is otherwise locked out by geography.

Politically, the most important consideration here is it offers India a golden opportunity to significantly upgrade ties with a major Muslim country like Turkey. This could offset whatever ambivalence India might feel about Israel. India already has very deep relations with Israel, so this would not be a political challenge.
Turkish officials pointed out that none of the pipelines will have to be built. They are already in existence. The Ashkelon-Eilat pipeline is a functioning one, as is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline which started work in 2006.

Tel Aviv and Ankara have announced plans to carry water, electricity, natural gas and oil to Israel by way of a proposed Ceyhan-Ashkelon-Eilat passage. So, it’s not difficult to imagine gas coming through this passage, though this will need liquefaction and gasification terminals, which are a longer term investment.
IOC is one of the companies involved in building the Samsun-Ceyhan bypass pipeline in Turkey as well, which actually gives India a presence in Turkey's energy infrastructure. Both Turkey and Israel are positioning themselves as relevant players in the global energy market by becoming secure providers.

The Iran pipeline is not going anywhere, neither is the Turkmenistan pipeline after Turkmenistan announced that most of its gas would be sold to Russia's Gazprom. Iran's Chahbahar port is not yet accessible to India and likely to make much longer.
India is now taking a new look at the energy equations in the region.

Alexander's Commentary

Change of face - change of phase

In the period of July 20 till August 3, 2015, Alexander will be out of the office and the site will not or only irreg

read more ...
« September 2019 »
September
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30

Register to announce Your Event

View All Events