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International relations

Azerbaijan readies gas for EU as Central Asia energy hopes soar

Caspian output to reach Europe while Turkmenistan eyes supplier role, SOCAR says

In an interview with Nikkei Asia, SOCAR's vice president said "there are no obstacles left to build new pipelines in the Caspian Sea." (Source photos by Reuters and AP)

ISTANBUL -- The first commercial gas flows from Azerbaijan to Europe are about to come online from the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, as the recently completed project raises hopes for energy-rich Central Asian states like Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to help feed European energy demand.

The TAP consortium, consisting of companies such as Azerbaijan's national oil company SOCAR, BP and Italian Snam, has invested around $5 billion in the 878-km pipeline. Japanese, South Korean and Chinese banks also participated in the 3.9 billion euro ($4.8 billion) financing package, along with European banks. TAP enters Europe from the Greece-Turkey border and ends up in southern Italy.

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