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Third time lucky for Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline?

Financial and institutional obstacles to the project appear at last to be clearing

The current effort—the third—to realise the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) has better prospects than the previous ones. In order to evaluate its chances of success, one must understand both its history and its unaccustomed financing structure. The first attempt to develop the TCGP foundered in the late 1990s, when Italian engineers developed new technology enabling Gazprom to lay an ultra-deep pipeline under the Black Sea for direct supplies to Turkey. Based on it, Russia proposed the Blue Stream pipeline to Turkey, two strings of 9bn m³/yr each. The subsequent take-or-pay agreement with Gazprom affected Turkey's previous agreement with Turkmenistan. Instead of taking the initially prop

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