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Politics weigh on regional pipeline projects in Eurasia

Central Asia is not yet the solution for Europe’s energy diversification needs, especially as connections to China expand

The Ukraine crisis has revived Europe’s drive to open up so-called southern corridor pipeline access to Central Asian gas as an alternative to Russian supply. But gas from the Caspian is no panacea for Europe’s Russia dependence, and neither is European thirst for gas alone likely to push through expensive and geopolitically sensitive pipelines from some of Central Asia’s largest producing countries – especially given the clout and closer proximity of energy-hungry China. BP and its partners in Azerbaijan’s 16 billion cubic metres a year (cm/y) Shah Deniz phase 2 project probably let out a collective sigh of relief when gas-sales agreements were signed with European buyers late last yea

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