Central Asia Europe & Eurasia Geopolitics & Energy Security
Issue Brief July 3, 2024

Caspian contributions to energy security in Europe

By John M. Roberts and Julian Bowden

This issue brief examines the potential for new fossil fuel developments in the Caspian region to meet Europe’s energy needs. With increased regional interconnectivity, large fossil fuel resources, political support for fossil fuel development, and growth in domestic renewable energy generation, Caspian producers—namely Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan—have the potential to meet this need on the timeline required. To do so, they must act on stated plans to increase natural gas production and tap domestic renewable energy sources. 

This brief also examines the regional factors in Southeast Europe, including gas flows, infrastructure changes, and market demand, which would affect Caspian fossil fuel supplies’ availability in Europe. Georgia, Turkey, Italy, and Southeast and Central Europe stand to directly benefit from Caspian gas via the Southern Gas Corridor. They can also serve as conduits of these supplies further north and west.  

However, economic and geopolitical factors could hinder the rapid production and export of additional supplies from the Caspian region. Raising finance for oil and gas projects has become difficult as international financial institutions and the European Commission seek to reduce fossil fuel investment. Moreover, while proposals on both sides of the Caspian for large-scale hydrogen export projects targeted at European markets are ambitious, the complexity of delivery means they may take years to mature. Azerbaijan’s military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh may also impact European willingness to increase energy reliance on Azerbaijan. By successfully navigating these obstacles, Caspian producers can further contribute to European energy security.


Julian Bowden
Senior Visiting Research Fellow
Oxford Institute for Energy Studies


The authors are on the advisory board of a project to lay a forty-eight-mile connector pipeline between the Petronas-operated Magtymguly field in Turkmenistan and gas-gathering facilities operated by BP in Azerbaijan’s ACG oilfield.



The Global Energy Center develops and promotes pragmatic and nonpartisan policy solutions designed to advance global energy security, enhance economic opportunity, and accelerate pathways to net-zero emissions.

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Image: A view of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) gas pipeline that will carry gas from Komotini to Stara Zagora in Bulgaria, in Komotini, Greece, July 8, 2022. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis