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Caspian Sea news roundup

With the recent announcement that trade sanctions will be lifted from Iran, the oil and gas industry in the Caspian Sea has been changing. Nations are making plans to start exporting Iranian oil and gas, with Europe hungry for the resources and Azerbaijan being keep to become a transit nation for them.

Kazakhstan has also hinted that it will be trading with Iran via a new refinery it is intending to construct. Elsewhere, the planned pipeline from Turkmenistan to India has taken a major step forward with the announcement of the firm that will be leading the project. Read on for more oil and gas news from the Caspian Sea.


Turkmengaz to lead TAPI consortium

After months of planning and negotiation, the future of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline has been announced. It has been revealed that the consortium in charge of delivering this major project will be led by Turkmenistan's state energy firm Turkmengaz. This was a unanimous decision made by ministers from all four nations at a meeting in Ashgabat.

The company that will oversee the construction, financing, ownership and operation of the pipeline will be known as 'TAPI Limited'. The lead partner in this project is the Asian Development Bank.

A statement from India's Petroleum Ministry read: "All sides endorsed the Turkmen proposal. It was agreed that all sides would make investment in the project subject to techno-commercial viability, shareholder agreement and investment agreement."


Kazakhstan to construct new refinery?

The Kazakh government has announced that it is considering constructing a new refinery in the Mangystau region in order to facilitate the oil trade with Iran. Rakimbek Amirzhanov, deputy governor of the region, announced that his administration was "considering the issue".

If it is eventually built, this refinery would have a capacity of ten million tonnes per year and create an estimated 10,000 jobs. It would be the fourth of its kind in Kazakhstan, after the nation's refineries in the Atyrau, Pavlodar and South Kazakhstan regions.

Mr Amirzhanov revealed that the purpose of this facility would be to trade with Iran. He said: "Oil products from Mangystau will be sent to the northern ports of Iran, and in the south, Iran will send crude oil to the oil companies onwards."


Iran to use Azeri infrastructure to transport oil and gas?

Azerbaijan’s economy and industry minister, Shahin Mustafayev, has revealed that the nation has offered Iran a deal to transport oil and gas through Azeri infrastructure to other markets. This deal was floated at a meeting with Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh on August 4th.

Mr Mustafayev offered Iran use of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline to transport its oil, along with other pipelines. He also hinted that Iran would be able to take part in the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project.


Loan approved for development of Shah Deniz gas field

A major loan has been approved by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to enable a Russian firm to develop Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field. The total value of this loan will be $1 billion, although half of this is set to be provided by the Asian Development Bank.

The money will go to Lukoil, Russia's second-largest producer of oil. The firm is one of many working on Shah Deniz, as the estimated 1.2 trillion cubic m of gas is currently being extracted by companies including Azerbaijan's own SOCAR and UK-based BP.


EU wants more gas via Azerbaijan

A source from the European Commission (EC) has revealed to news agency Trend that Azerbaijan features heavily in the EU's gas plans for the future. The source allegedly claimed that European nations would be enthusiastic to purchase gas transported through the Southern Gas Corridor from a range of nations, potentially including Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq.

"While Azerbaijan is widely perceived as the enabler of the Southern Gas Corridor to the EU, another objective of the EU’s policy in the Southern Gas Corridor is to enable other sources of gas in the corridor to deliver significant volumes of gas to the EU and provide significant benefits in terms of diversification of supply, competition and security of supply," the source told Trend.

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