Bosnia: South Stream vs TAP, federal government opposing South Stream or opens issue management with Gazprom?

28. May 2013. / SEE Energy News

Minister of Foreign Affairs of BiH, Zlatko Lagumdzija, has sent a letter where he expressed positive opinion for closure of Memorandum between BiH, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia for the project “Azerbaijan natural gas transport” to BiH’s Presidency on 8 May and he asks for this project’s approval.

These projects, Trans Adriatic Pipeline TAPT and Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline IAP, are planned for transport of gas from Azerbaijan over Greece to Italy.

TAP should transport gas from Azerbaijan field “Shah Deniz II” to Europe.

Gas Producers’ Consortium published in the scope of Shah Deniz project on 29 June last year that this project “Nabucco West” will be the one of two final candidates for bringing Azerbaijan gas in Europe from Turkey toward Italy over Greece and Albania.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline has signed memorandums for understanding with future performers of IAP construction, Company “Plinakro” from Croatia, “BH-Gas” from BiH, “Geoplin plinovodi” from Slovenia and governments from Montenegro and Albania. This document predicted that TAP will be constructed and connected to IAP.

-Considering strategic significance of energy safety and cooperation among BiH, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Italy and Greece, we believe that BiH Presidency need to take positive attitude toward conclusion of memorandums and to authorize Minister of Foreign Affairs to sign it- Lagumdzija wrote.

He stressed that MIP believes that this pipeline has “function of improving the regional cooperation in energy area, diversification of energy supply and for industry of the whole region”.

Lagumdzija stated in the explanation that this is transport of natural gas from Caspian Sea to Italy and the rest of Europe, over Greece and Albania. He added that BiH, as well as the whole region of west Balkan need to be supplied with natural gas from these projects.

Experts warn that this is an attempt of “mining” the already launched construction project of South Stream Pipeline which considers gasification of Republika Srpska with Russian gas and where financial construction was made.

There is no decision for investment in TAP and IAP or final decision for construction of this track or the track “Nabucco West”. It is also interesting Ministry of Foreign Business is in charge of this question instead of competent Ministry of External Trade and Economy Relations.

TAP Consortium stated last year that goal of this project is “to decrease European dependence from Russian gas import” so “the final decision for investment in the project will be made in mid 2013”.

Energy Expert, Dusan Bogdanovic, says that move of this ministry is obviously an attempt of ruining already made concept and project “South Stream” over political games.

-These attempts to ruin everything successful that comes from Russia and RS are ridiculous. This information is something completely new and unnecessary. People from Gasprom have already talked about this pipeline track with Slobodan Puhalac, Director of “Gas-Res” Company.  South Stream is in operational phase at the moment and therefore this story from Sarajevo is mean and completely senseless- Bogdanovic says.

He says that this move shows that nothing good for RS can come from Sarajevo.

-Data how much oil and oil derivates in BiH is exported by side, not from Brod Refinery, supports this theory. This is an attempt of all contacts and relations termination but also breaking economy interests of its own country- Bogdanovic says.

Lagumdzija has sent the same letter to Ministers’ Department.

Turkey

Turkey has signed memorandum with Azerbaijan for construction of Trans Anatolian Pipeline in June last year.

Officials in Turkey said then that this move will enforce role of Turkey as big transit country and its negotiation power with reference to EU and Russia.

Energy expert of Caspian region Jan Sir said that this project “keeps strategic logic in life” and this logic is behind energy corridor that bypasses Russia.

-It is clear that opening of Caspian zone toward west will enforce relation over Turkish Caucasus and that Russia will lose a lot of its influence- he said.

Hilal Pataci, Director of Future Energy Leaders in Turkish Committee of Soviet Energy Association, thinks that this agreement can become a problem in Russian-Turkish relations in years that follow.

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