"Can Kurdistan's gas sources compete with Azerbaijan's for supplying gas to the southern energy corridor?"

This is the principle question behind today’s main feature as far as our writer Olgu Okumus is concerned. However, the developments in this region are not restricted to a couple of countries, but reveal a closely knit group involving quite a number of states and the EU as a whole, if not for interests related to energy and business than certainly for reasons in the political domain.

Almost all countries in the Caucasian and Caspian areas dispose of energy resources themselves or somehow will be involved in transport connections. Iraq and Iran are close by and for that fact alone they are influential. Links already exist. More to the West Turkey’s role is growing by the year, aside from the demand for energy, also for reasons of increasing economic power. The relation between Turkey and Israel gains importance. The offshore oil and natural gas reserves around Cyprus were known but stayed unexplored, until they became of much interest as a major source of income for the country’s deplorable financial status, although it may take quite a while before they surface. Major pipelines are either leaving the drawing table or in a phase of negotiating. The South Stream is emerging. Nabucco may follow.

So in a way we can detect a kind of energy race. On the one hand the European Union welcomes a diversification of energy suppliers for political, economic and security reasons. On the other hand an increase in renewable energy is foreseen in the longer term. How will the balance be in the end? Or to put it otherwise: How much of conventional fuels will be needed along the track to the future? As always the timetable is uncertain. It is realistic to think in terms of several decades, i.e. mid-century, but to reckon with a period of at least 10 to 20 years before the majority of reserves will be on stream also belongs to a sound scenario. For the emerging supplying countries this can be a forcing fact to bring their reserves to the market in due time.

For European Energy Review it is a trigger to give more attention in the coming months to the developments and events in this part of the world, that in terms of energy supply and resources lies around the European corner.