Azerbaijan is only new source of natural gas for Europe, president says

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ilham-forumFor Europe, Azerbaijan is the only new source of natural gas, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said, speaking at the opening of the 3rd Baku Global Shared Societies Forum in Azerbaijani capital Baku on April 28.

The president said Azerbaijan is playing its important role in diversification of energy supplies.

“For 20 years, we’re implementing an oil strategy that created an absolutely new energy map in the region,” said the president. “We’ve connected the Caspian Sea and Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea by a multiple oil pipeline systems. Today oil from the Caspian Sea, not only from Azerbaijan, but also from the Eastern shores of the Caspian, is being directed to international markets.”

President Aliyev went on to speak about the biggest infrastructure project of Europe, where Azerbaijani again has shown initiative and took the lead.

“The Southern Gas Corridor consists of segments – the development of one of the biggest gas fields in the world Shah Deniz, construction of the new pipeline system to connect Azerbaijan and Georgia, South Caucasian pipeline, Trans-Anatolian pipeline, and Trans Adriatic pipeline, which will be constructed from the Turkish border, through Albania to Italy,” Ilham Aliyev said.

He went on to add that Bulgaria is also a part of Azerbaijan’s energy policy and if one can look at the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey trilateral format, it has transformed into a much bigger format.

The president noted that the mentioned projects are difficult from a technical point of view, and they require broad coordination and cooperation.

“For that purpose, Azerbaijan in February initiated and held the first advisory board of the Southern Gas Corridor, which allowed all the high-ranking representatives of the countries that I’ve named, plus the representatives of the U.S. and the EU Commission to address this issue. And we’ve adopted a joint press statement,” President Aliyev said. “The leading role of Azerbaijan is clearly identified.”

According to Azerbaijan’s plans for 2018-2019, all the mentioned projects must be implemented, he stressed.

“In the coming years, I am sure that the countries of the Balkan region will join our pipeline system. Especially since now in Europe the interconnectors are being built, which we fully support, because Azerbaijan has enormous, huge gas reserves, infrastructure, which is already in the process of construction,” the president said.

He reminded that the mentioned projects are not the only part of Azerbaijan’s cooperation with Europe.

“We understand that for Europe energy diversification is really the issue of national security and we should treat this issue as that,” he said. “Energy security cannot be separated from national security.”

Another important issue, as the president said, is the diversification of sources.

“Diversification of routes is also important, but when the source is the same, it doesn’t make sense,” he said. “I am not trying to say that other sources are not important, not trying to compete with anyone, but other sources are already in action.”

The Southern Gas Corridor project envisages transportation of gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe. This large project aims at diversifying the routes and sources of energy supply that will enhance the energy security of Europe. The Southern Gas Corridor project will ensure Caspian gas supply to the European markets for the first time in history.

At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the second phase of development of Azerbaijani gas condensate Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor project. At a later stage, other sources may join the project.

The gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of the field’s development will be exported to Turkey and to the European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). Around six billion cubic meters of the total volume of gas within the Shah Deniz-2 project will be delivered to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe per year.

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