The Trans-Caspian Is a Pipeline for a Geopolitical Commission

Download: Energy Security Program Policy Paper No. 1, March 2020 (15 pages, 377KB)

The Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP) project from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan is a geopolitical and strategic pipeline for Europe. It will bring large quantities of natural gas from Central Asia to southern Europe and, via the White Stream pipeline under the Black Sea, also to Central and Eastern Europe. The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) oil export pipeline 20 years ago established and reinforced the independence of the participating countries, Azerbaijan and Georgia. It also happened to be commercially very advantageous. Like it, the TCGP is a unique opportunity to ensure Europe’s economic benefit and political influence in the region. Also like the BTC, it is a

demonstration project that will open the broader region to greater international investment. Gas from Turkmenistan costs much less than gas from Siberia. Implementation of Turkmen gas exports to the EU in sizeable quantities will serve the geopolitical purpose of cementing Central Asia’s relations with Europe, promoting integration and stability.

About Robert M. Cutler

Robert M. Cutler earned his doctorate at The University of Michigan after receiving two Bachelor's degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After over a dozen years in leading universities in Canada, France, Russia, Switzerland and the United States, he expanded into policy analysis and consulting as an Energy Security and Geo-economics Specialist. He has over 20 years' experience in international energy diplomacy: advising energy firms, governments, international institutions and NGOs; framing policy and research issues and leading teams to address them, and producing briefings and analytical bulletins. He has published scores of refereed academic articles, policy articles and book chapters. He is Fellow, Canadian Energy Research Institute; Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute; and Practitioner Member, Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation, University of Waterloo. He is fluent in English, French and Russian. He can be reached at rmc@alum.mit.edu and tweets from @RobertMCutler.