Export-Import Bank President James Harmon announced yesterday in Ashgabat that the bank is prepared to lend Turkmenistan US$2 billion to US$3 billion for various projects, mainly in the oil and gas sector. The offer expresses the U.S. interest in the development of Caspian mineral resources and their export to international markets, Harmon said. His talks in Ashgabat focused on the project to lay a trans-Caspian pipeline which would bring Turkmen gas to Azerbaijan and from there to Turkey and to Europe. Harmon made clear that the project would go ahead even if Moscow decides to allow the transit of Turkmen gas to Europe via Russia. He indicated that the potential export volumes of Turkmen gas are so large as to ensure the project’s commercial attractiveness.
This latter remark is important in terms of allaying a concern expressed by some potential investors and leading gas companies. They have hypothesized that Moscow might, at a moment of its own choice, suddenly lift the blockade it has imposed on the transit of Turkmen gas to Europe via Russia. Such a move could reduce the amounts of gas routed via Azerbaijan and Turkey, thereby reducing the profitability of the planned pipeline. This consideration, however, can also act a spur to faster development of Turkmen gas deposits.–VS
The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of senior analysts Jonas Bernstein, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and analysts Ilya Malyakin, Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ilias Bogatyrev. If you have any questions regarding the content of the Monitor, please contact the foundation. If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at [email protected], by fax at 301-562-8021, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 4516 43rd Street NW, Washington DC 20016. Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law. Copyright (c) 1983-2002 The Jamestown Foundation Site Maintenance by Johnny Flash Productions