Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan and Russia are not competitors in the international gas market, and did not rule out the possibility of cooperation between the two countries in the sale of gas.
“Currently, work is underway in Europe to create interconnectors between different countries to receive gas from Russia, Azerbaijan or any other country through Turkey.
Therefore, active cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan is possible in terms of coordinating our efforts in order to have an accurate idea of the volumes that we can sell. In other words, we should not create problems for each other,” Aliyev said at a February 23 meeting with top Russian media executives in Moscow.
The President added that the high gas price is in the interests of Azerbaijan and Russia.
“Therefore, I think the talk is about competition, the volumes of deliveries are incomparable. However, it is clear that even small volumes in the gas market can sometimes make a difference. In order to prevent this, in principle, we are ready to cooperate with Russia in this direction,” Aliyev added.
He also said that Turkey is the most attractive partner for Azerbaijan in terms of gas sales, given that Baku and Ankara are allies and relations between the two countries are at the highest level.
“Second is the growing demand in the Turkish market and Russia is a major supplier. The market is also growing as the process of gasification is going on in Turkey. However, if good conditions are offered, of course, we can consider any other option,” Aliyev added.
The President also said that Azerbaijan receives requests from representatives of the European Commission to increase gas supplies to Europe, taking into account the current situation.
“However, the fact is that all the volumes that we began to supply to Europe have been contracted since 2013,” he explained.
The head of state noted that Azerbaijan “physically” does not have additional volumes, since the need for them was not initially taken into account. “Our largest consumer is Turkey, followed by Italy, Georgia, Greece and Bulgaria. Last year we exported almost 19 billion cubic meters of gas, this year there will be more. The surplus can be sold on the spot market,” Aliyev said.
According to him, sales in the spot market may be insignificant, but there is potential for increased volume. “In a few years, we will be producing gas from at least two new fields, one of which next year. This gas, of course, can be sold on foreign markets,” he said.
The President also noted that in order to export gas in large volumes, it will be necessary to increase investments in production, as well as in the expansion of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline, which is designed for a certain volume of gas (10 billion cubic meters per year). “All this requires high costs and guarantees. Several countries are already contacting us, but, as they themselves, they probably understand, this cannot be resolved quickly,” he said.