9/12/2008

Turkey invites Azeris and Turkmens for ‘energy cooperation’

Today’s Zaman - The Turkish energy minister invited Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to make joint energy investments in the Black Sea. “We will start drilling in the Black Sea in 2009, and I am inviting you [Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan] to cooperate with us on this drilling project,” Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler said during a conference titled “Oil and Gas Potential in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan: Energy, Economy and Ecology Cooperation Strategy” in the Azerbaijani capital. Guler also referred to the Nabucco pipeline project and said this project would be implemented, just as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas projects have been. The Nabucco pipeline is a planned natural gas pipeline that will transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. It will run from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March, a major natural gas hub in Austria. Guler also said the Nabucco project would ensure energy security not only in Turkey but also in Europe. Also, Guler stated that Turkey aims to invest some $125 billion in energy projects before 2020 and plans to allocate $100 billion of this amount to electricity generation. Guler stated that oil transportation through the Turkish Straits was up 50 % in the last three years, adding that Turkey aims to construct a Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline project to reduce the amount of traffic through the straits. “Central Asian and Kazakh oil will be transferred to Ceyhan with this pipeline project,” he explained.

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