Greece May Be Key Player In European Energy Security

…which is why it’s often said here that Greece is going nowhere (See also HERE and HERE). It simply holds too much strategic value as it is the gateway to Europe. Whether it’s 100% submission to the German-led troika or a parallel currency compromise, the most likely option, it will stick around in one form or another.

 

The United States is reporting some success in persuading Greece to accommodate a Western-backed pipeline through Turkey to supply Europe with gas from the Caspian Sea rather than an alternative project – backed by Moscow – that would ship Russian gas.

Washington sent Amos Hochstein, the State Department’s special envoy on energy affairs, to Athens to discuss the options with several Greek officials. On May 8 Hochstein reported that both sides “agreed on more than we disagreed.” Continue reading

Does Turkey Prefer A European Or Eurasian Energy Union?

December 2014 saw the reemergence of competition between rival pipeline projects in Eurasia—similar to the earlier competition between the Nabucco natural gas pipeline, proposed by a consortium of European companies, and Russia’s South Stream. Currently, Russia’s new proposed pipeline project—Turkish Stream—is challenging the Azerbaijani-initiated Southern Gas Corridor, which will carry Caspian-basin gas to Europe via the South Caucasus, Turkey and then across Southeastern Europe.

Turkey is already signed on to the Southern Gas Corridor—the Corridor’s longest pipeline segment, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), will cross Turkey from east to west—but it is also being strongly courted by Moscow to host Turkish Stream (see EDM, December 17, 2014; February 20, 2015). This growing significance of Turkey in competing large-scale energy transit projects across Europe and Eurasia has also opened up a discussion domestically regarding which prospective energy union the country should become part of—European or Eurasian. Continue reading

Trans Adriatic Pipeline to bring Azeri gas to Europe

In a long-awaited decision to bring Azeri gas resources to Europe, the Shah Deniz II consortium opted for a pipeline running through Greece and Albania instead of a rival northwestern route, Nabucco West, running from Bulgaria to Austria.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will stretch 870 kilometres from the Greek-Turkish border. Moving west, TAP is designed to extend across the breadth of northern Greece before veering northwest to Albania. From Fier, Albania, plans envision the pipeline crossing under the Adriatic to emerge in southern Italy. Continue reading