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Caspian Gas Exports to Triple by 2020

Caspian gas exports may more than triple in the next decade, allowing consumers in Europe and China to diversify supply, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.

Producers including Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will export almost 100 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020, compared with less than 30 bcm last year, the Paris-based agency said in its World Energy Outlook.

Caspian producers already ship gas to China through the Trans-Asian pipeline, which runs through Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Europe is also looking at Caspian gas as it seeks supplies for the OMV-led Nabucco pipeline, which would allow it to lessen its dependence on Russian fuel.

"The Caspian region has the potential to make a significant contribution to ensuring energy security in the rest of the world," the IEA said in its report.

Oil output from the Caspian will also rise, with Kazakhstan ranked fourth in the world for production growth in volume terms between now and 2035. The region's crude output will peak at about 5.4 million barrels a day from 2025 to 2030, equivalent to about half of Russia's current production.

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