Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia work on establishing energy corridor

By Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia are working to create the North-South energy corridor among the three neighbor countries.

This was announced by Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natig Aliyev on February 10.

He told journalists that the removal of the international sanctions from Iran will play a significant role in the development of Baku's relations with Tehran.

"The North-South corridor is being established not only in the transport, but also in the energy sector. It envisages the export of electricity from Russia to Azerbaijan and further to Iran. A special working group has been established. The energy ministers of three countries are working on this issue," he said.

In November 2015, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak confirmed the interest in linking the energy systems with Azerbaijan and Iran.

“We also confirm the interest in continuing to examine the issue of linking the energy systems of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, and we consider it reasonable to resume the tripartite working group,” Novak said.

In response, Azerbaijan confirmed the interest and readiness for resuming the meetings as part of the tripartite working group.

Oil & gas

Aliyev went on to add that Azerbaijan and Iran are implementing major projects in the oil and gas sector.

“The issue of the Iranian gas transit through the territory of Azerbaijan is on the agenda,” he said, adding: “the use of Azerbaijani gas storage facilities by Iran and other areas of cooperation, which we will develop, are also on the agenda."

Baku has offered Tehran to use Azerbaijan's infrastructure for transporting energy resources to the world markets. Such an initiative, which was made at a summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum held in Tehran on November 23, 2015, was welcomed by Iran.

Energy-rich Azerbaijan is considered by Tehran as a suitable route for the transit of Iran's massive natural gas resources to European consumers.

Iran, which holds 33.8 trillion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves – or 18.2 percent of the world’s total proven reserves – has pursued multiple projects for years to pipe natural gas to Europe.

Iran’s geographical location makes it possible for the country to bring its gas to markets in Europe only via routes running through Turkey or Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is already on the path to exporting not only its own natural gas to Europe, but Iran’s as well. It is believed that TANAP, which will later be linked to TAP, can become a reliable route for supplying Iranian gas to Europe. By joining TANAP, Iran is sure to strengthen Azerbaijan’s regional position as a transit country. This will not only bring economic benefits, but also political dividends that will be much more significant.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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