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Central Asia and the Caspian Sea: a Trap or Salvation?

Central Asia and the Caspian Sea: a Trap or Salvation?

The "gas war" with Ukraine has once again emphasised the importance of gas reserves in the Central Asian republics. They have long since become one of the elements of a major geopolitical game.

Russia has to date managed to retain control of gas flows from that region thanks to the Soviet gas transport system. It has even been able to get a monopoly on purchasing gas in Central Asia having successfully driven Ukraine from that market.

However, considering that a new gas pipeline is being built from Turkmenistan to China, the lie of the land is set to change, significantly. Even Europe actively announces diversifying gas supplies, including by creating new channels to deliver Asian gas to its market.

Turkey also steps up efforts to create a Trans-Turkic corridor for gas supplies from Central Asia to Europe.

The new export routes will give more confidence to the Central Asian rulers who have even without that achieved considerable success in negotiating the price of their fuel with Russia.

It is also obvious that the Caspian region will remain central to the US under the new administration.

The report offers an in-depth discussion of the following subjects:

  • The real gas potential of the region

    • The problem of estimating gas reserves in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan
    • Should the local leaders and the assessors they hire be trusted?
    • The most recent assessment of reserves in Turkmenistan and its shadow side
    • Potential for increasing production in the Central Asian countries
  • Development prospects for new routes

    • War of projects: a comparison of alternative pipelines
    • Financial and political risks
    • Current status
    • Weak and strong points
  • The commercial and geopolitical interests of the key players

    • Opportunities for Gazprom to preserve its monopoly
    • The risks of the selected strategy for retaining control over Central Asian gas
  • Possible developments

The contents of the report:

Introduction 2
Chapter 1. Fight for Control over Central Asian Gas Growing Fiercer. Key Players. Interests and Opportunities 4
1.1. Strategies of Key Actors 4
1.2. Political Situation in Central Asian States, Its Influence on Gas 5
1.3. Risks and Opportunities of Key Contenders for Central Asian Hydrocarbons 13
Chapter 2. Gas Reserves in Central Asian Countries. Production Development Prospects. Existing Contracts and Agreements 22
2.1. Turkmenistan 23
2.2. Uzbekistan 27
2.3. Kazakhstan 29
2.4. Central Asia Low on Gas: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan 34
Chapter 3. Potential Gas Transport Projects in the Region 37
3.1. Turkmenistan-China Gas Pipeline (Central Asian Gas Pipeline) 37
3.2. Expansion of Existing Gas Transport System, Central Asia – Centre. Caspian Gas Pipeline 40
3.3. Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline and “Southern Corridor” to Europe 42
Chapter 4. Forecast of Developments 45
4.1. Factor of Berdimuhammedov and “Multidirectional” Turkmenistan 45
4.2. New US Administration and the End of the European Commission’s Mandate 46
4.3. “Chinese Trace” 48
4.4. Russian Trump Card 48
Date of issue March 10, 2009

If you are interested to obtain please contact » Elena Kim

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Analytical series “The Fuel and Energy Complex of Russia”:

Outlook for Russian LNG Industry
Russian Energy and West One Year after Ukraine Conflict Began: Are There Connections Still?
Green Agenda in Russia during Bitter Conflict with West
After February 2022 the agenda was radically rewritten. Western companies began leaving Russia en masse, economic relations with the West were drastically reduced, and the Russian economy began to be pushed violently from the global economic space, hemmed in by sweeping sanctions. All that was, to put it mildly, not the best background for talking about ESG. Especially because tasks of survival and stability under unprecedented pressure became the priority in the economy. In late 2022, however, attempts to reanimate the ESG agenda already became obvious. The message is put across insistently that it is important to Russia regardless of the foreign policy situation. While earlier the “green pivot” was seen as an opportunity to attract Western investors and their technological solutions to Russia, now Keynesian reliance on domestic manufacture is discussed.
Oil and Gas Sector Regulation in 2022 and Prospects for 2023
Gazprom at the Forefront of Economic and Political Battles with Europe
Gazprom is being actively thrown out of the market. Its annual supplies to Europe have shrunk from the previous 150 billion to 65 billion cubic metres of gas. European officials assure that they have already learnt how to live without Russian gas, so they will bring its purchases down to but nominal values in 2023. Their main hope is liquefied natural gas. Today the EU must make a crucial decision: whether it has passed the point of no return in gas business with Russia and whether it is certain that its economy will endure without supplies of Russian pipeline gas. Or, on the contrary, Europe will realise after all that the gas balance will not be achieved and the payment for so headlong a rush for LNG will be disproportionate. Assessment of the potential volume of LNG that will appear on the market before the end of the current decade will be the most important factor for making the decision.

All reports for: 2015 , 14 , 13 , 12 , 11 , 10 , 09 , 08 , 07

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