Turkmenistan has commissioned its East-West gas pipeline worth $2.5b with a capacity of 30bcm/year connecting abundant gas fields in the Caspian Sea with an aim to improve the country’s gas export efficiency, Platts reported.

The project links Turkmenistan’s gas fields – the Shatlyk compressor station in the east and Belek in the west – via a single gas transportation system. The 800km pipeline is also envisioned to connect the Central Asian and European markets, wrote EU Bulletin. Funneling gas through the Caspian region fits into a larger plan of the EU, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to build infrastructure to transfer more energy to Europe for up to 20 years, while lessening their dependence on Russia-sourced gas.

Some estimations suggest that the total price for the Trans-Caspian pipeline may reach as high as $5b, Business Standard indicated in a report.

In addition, Turkmenistan announced that it was ready to renew its cooperation with Russia on the project, which had been frozen in 2009, after gas prices fell and Ashgabat blamed Gazprom for causing the inexplicable explosion on its pipeline, inflicting losses of up to $1b per months, according to an analysis by Vestnik Kavkaza.