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 Tuesday, November 17 2020 21:47
Emmanuil Mkrtchyan

Vahe Davtyan: As a result of the war in Karabakh, the pipeline map of  the region is unlikely to be changed

Vahe Davtyan: As a result of the war in Karabakh, the pipeline map of  the region is unlikely to be changed

ArmInfo.As a result of the war in Karabakh, the pipeline map of the region is unlikely to be changed. This opinion was expressed in an interview with ArmInfo by  Doctor of Political Sciences, Head of the Energy Security Institute  Vahe Davtyan.

Firstly, he believes, the bulk of large infrastructure projects have  already been implemented, only the Transcapian gas pipeline project  remains on paper, which, if implemented, will receive the same  logistics solutions as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan or the Southern Gas  Corridor, i.e. will pass through Georgia. However, the expert notes,  despite the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea signed  in 2018, the implementation of this project is traditionally blocked  by Iran, which has not yet ratified the convention, as well as by  Russia.

Secondly, it is naive to believe that new geopolitical realities will  create the basis for Armenia's integration into the pipeline and  transport-logistics communications of the region. The transport and  energy blockade of Armenia will continue, since at the moment only  the armed phase of the conflict is over, and then with a big stretch.  The war has entered the stage of hybrid confrontation, and here  Ankara's goal is to expand the border with Nakhijevan, hence Tehran's  emphasized preventive behavior.

According to Davtyan, the project for the construction of the  Igdir-Nakhichevan railway, as well as the agreement reached on the  construction of a gas pipeline with the same logistics in order to  reduce Nakhijevan's energy dependence on Iranian supplies, are part  of the Turkish geostrategy. The involvement of Armenia in the energy  transport communications of the region will mean the formation of a  safety cushion for it in the form of foreign capital, attracted in  new infrastructure projects. And in this sense, Pashinyan's  statements about unblocking communications and the possibility of  establishing a railway connection with Iran through Nakhijevan are  nothing more than economic myth-making.

At the same time, the analyst noted, not everything is so cloudless  for Azerbaijan. Of course, the Trans- Anatolian gas pipeline has  already been launched, the next in turn in 2021 is the  Trans-Adriatic, but there are two problems that must be taken into  account. Firstly, this gas transportation corridor has too little  throughput: at best, it is able to reach 10 billion cubic meters per  year, while the annual consumption in Europe reaches 500 billion  cubic meters. In general, the TAP and TANAP Complete Pipeline  Connections are nothing more than a bubble inflated by the  anti-Russian lobby in the EU. It has no diversification potential.  Secondly, Azerbaijani gas is not competitive in terms of its price.  After the April shock, gas prices in Europe fell sharply, reaching $  40-50 per 1,000 cubic meters. Today, as a result of the renewal of  the OPEC + deal, oil prices have somewhat stabilized, which also  affected spot gas prices in Europe. At present, the price of natural  gas at European hubs reaches $ 150-160, which also inflicts a serious  blow on Azerbaijan's foreign gas transportation policy. Taking into  account the prime cost of Azeri gas produced in the Caspian Sea, as  well as transportation costs, the price for it already in Italy will  reach up to $ 250. ... In the current situation, Davtyan notes,  Turkey remains the key sales market for Azerbaijani gas, but not  everything is smooth here either. True, over the past year and a  half, Azerbaijan has succeeded in ousting Russian gas from the  Turkish market, but since August, Gazprom has been restoring its  positions again, taking the leading position in Turkey in gas  supplies. This trend continues, increasingly worrying the Azerbaijani  establishment. 


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