September 9, 2008

Turkey Urges Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan to Cooperate in Black Sea Energy Projects

Text of report in English by Turkish semi-official news agency Anatolia

BAKU (A.A) -09.09.2008 -Turkey invited on Tuesday Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to make joint energy investments.

Turkey's Energy & Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler called on Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to cooperate with Turkey in energy projects in the Black Sea.

"We will start drilling the Black Sea in 2009, and I am inviting you to cooperate with us in this drilling project," Guler said during a conference on "oil and gas potential in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan: energy, economy and ecology cooperation strategy" in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku.

Guler also referred to Nabucco project, and said this project would be implemented, just as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas projects.

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. This pipeline is a diversion from the current methods of importing natural gas solely from Russia. The project is backed by the European Union and the United States.

Guler also said that the Nabucco project would ensure energy security not only in Turkey but also in Europe.

Also, Guler said that Turkey aimed to invest some 125 billion USD in energy projects till 2020, and planned to allocate 100 billion USD of this amount for electricity generation.

Guler said that the oil transportation through Turkish straits was up 50 per cent in the last three years, and also said that Turkey aimed to implement Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline project to protect Istanbul from this ecological threat.

"Central Asian and Kazakh oil will be transferred to Ceyhan with this pipeline project," he also said.

Guler said that Turkey also aimed to make Ceyhan an energy centre.

Originally published by Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in English 1238 9 Sep 08.

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