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Advice of the US diplomat to SOCAR: what do one needs to do to ensure gas deliveries to Europe

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richard-morningstarI would like to see the US companies involved into implementation of big energy projects in Azerbaijan, the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar said at the Caspian Energy Forum-2014 in Baku.

He said the projects will draw attract attention of the US and other companies.

The US diplomat believes that development of the Shah-Deniz Phase-2 could lead to discovery of new hydrocarbon fields in the Caspian Sea and therefore, Azerbaijan must pay more attention to implementation of this project. It is important for Azerbaijan to involve the international partners into the project.

“Azerbaijan’s energy resources are very important for Europe’s energy safety. The US will work closely with Azerbaijan in this direction. Shah-Deniz, TANAP and TAP are very big projects, implementation of which requires great courage,” added the US Ambassador.

The US diplomat named three main criteria, which administration of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) must be guided by to implement the energy projects.

          At first, the company selected for cooperation must be supported by the government. All companies give preference to the commercial issues, but it is very important that these companies are supported by their governments and they should support Azerbaijan.

            Secondly, it is important to take into consideration the financial expenses required for implementation of energy projects. “Up to $50 billion has been spent for implementation of the previous projects and the projects, which will be implemented in the future, will be very expensive as well. For this reason the projects must be implemented by the international partners and SOCAR must develop it,” Morningstar explained.

            Thirdly, one should take into consideration the factor of energy diversification.

“The US will not get oil and gas directly from the energy projects implemented in the region. But we believe that it is important to ensure energy safety of Europe,” said Morningstar.

He said during the past 20 years Azerbaijan has passed a long way of development. “Azerbaijan is one of the CIS member-states, which has been pursuing fully independent policy. The latest world events once again show how state sovereignty and independence are important for Azerbaijan. Will Azerbaijan be able to maintain its independence if it is not for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline? The new projects play an important role in ensuring sovereignty and independence of Azerbaijan,” the US Ambassador said.

The US diplomat also added that in the future the US plans to begin gas deliveries to Europe.

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