Monday, October 15, 2007

A New Gas Outlet To The EU

Source: "White Stream: Additional Outlet Proposed For Caspian Gas to Europe"

A new pipeline project, White Stream, could encourage investments in Caspian gas field development by diversifying export options and transport routes directly to European Union. The White Stream transit option should encourage the acceleration and expansion of production at Shah-Deniz as well as other offshore Azerbaijani fields. Further, the addition of White stream would allow investors to move faster and commit to higher production targets for EU markets.

Initially named GUEU (Georgia-Ukraine-European Union), this project involved a seabed pipeline from Georgia to Crimea. Currently, the GUEU-White Stream project developers are also envisaging a direct route from Georgia to Romania on the seabed. The proposed pipeline would branch off from the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum main pipeline. Once Turkmen gas crosses the Caspian and reaches the South Caucasus, White Stream would open one more outlet to Europe. Thus, the availability of White Stream would help enhance confidence of potential Western investors in Turkmenistan and create incentives for that government to partner with the West.

Two versions are possible, both involving ultra-deep levels across the seabed. The highly challenging seabed construction will benefit from the experience gained in laying the Blue Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey on the seabed of the Black Sea. The project has an attractive range of market options, once EU territory is reached. Countries in central-eastern Europe are keen to diversify their supplies away from overdependence on Russian gas. Investment for White Stream’s first phase is estimated to be in the range of $2.5 to $3.5 billion - depending on the route version chosen. The second phase would add another 8 billion cubic meters of gas annually, and the third phase expects another 16 billion cubic meters of eastern Caspian gas.

Question for Discussion: Is this report to optimistic and bullish about the potential of the White Stream project?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The White Stream project should be considered a top priority for the EU in terms of Diversification of Energy Supplies and EU-Eurasia-Asia trade corridor developement. Technologically it is feasable andhas been concluded so in the past. The sooner the project is executed the cheaper it will end being. The political ramifications of projects of similar nature will greatly enhance EU's gloal and safeguard the economic developement of the region. My questions now are how will this project be financed and who will be key shareholders?