In ensuring the diversification of European energy supply routes, international experts assign a special role to the supply of hydrocarbon resources from the Caspian region, that is one of the most important oil and gas regions in the world. It operates a modern network of gas pipelines and oil pipelines connecting the Middle of Asia with Europe.
Today, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is the key way to transport Caspian oil to world markets. BTC passes through the territory of three countries – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The throughput capacity is 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.
Of particular interest is the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, that can change the energy landscape of Europe. It is the only economically viable way to transport natural gas cross the Caspian Sea. The transportation of a liquefied natural gas at such a short distance is simply unprofitable.
Azerbaijan has already started supplying gas to Turkey in mid-2018 via the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP). Next year this country will be ready to deliver gas to Italy via the Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP).
According to the latest estimates, the Caspian region, in general, contains 292 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This makes it one of the richest hydrocarbon reserves regions in the world.
With such impressive reserves, the ambitious attempts of non-regional powers, mainly the United States, to seize alternative hydrocarbon reserves of the Caspian basin look perfectly predictable. They are based on promising more favorable prices and long-term contracts.
That’s why the White House is involved in serious geopolitical activities. It’s connected with the realisation of anti-Iran and anti-Russia containment policy.
Despite the fact that the US is increasing its own production volumes and is seeking to solve problems with the transportation of its raw materials to Europe, the White House also aims at establishing control over the transportation routes and distribution of Caspian energy resources.
In order to achieve this goal, the United States will inevitably increase pressure on the countries of the Caspian basin.
Supporting by the countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Russia, the leadership of Azerbaijan will in every possible way defend its own interests and preserve its multi-vector policy.
*Gosan Godjaev is an independent researcher from Azerbaijan.