Shell still keen on Trans-Caspian gas line

A high-ranking executive with Royal Dutch/Shell Group said late last month that Shell would not abandon plans to build the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP). Shell remains eager to carry out the project, even though its partner, PSG International, has recently shut down some of its offices, said Zaharuddin Megat following a meeting June 30 with Turkmenistan's President Saparmurad Niyazov.


MOSCOW�A high-ranking executive with Royal Dutch/Shell Group said late last month that Shell would not abandon plans to build the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP).

Shell remains eager to carry out the project, even though its partner, PSG International, has recently shut down some of its offices, said Zaharuddin Megat following a meeting June 30 with Turkmenistan's President Saparmurad Niyazov. The British-Dutch giant, which signed on to the project last year, would hold a 50% stake in the pipeline. The remaining 50% would have been held by PSG, a joint venture of Bechtel and General Electric Co. of the US.

Recently, the American group has hinted strongly that it is ready to scrap the project due to the Turkmenistani government's failure to respond to its proposals. Megat, however, stressed that PSG had not yet officially quit Turkmenistan. He also said Shell had presented a plan to Niyazov that would accelerate work on the project.

No word is available on Ashgabat's response to the proposal.

TCGP would follow an subsea route across the Caspian before passing through Azerbaijan and Georgia on its way to eastern Turkey. Shell carried out a feasibility study several years ago on plans to build a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Turkey via Iran.

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