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Tuesday June 25 2024

Azerbaijan's role in global energy security [COMMENTARY]

10 June 2024 08:30 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan's role in global energy security [COMMENTARY]
Ulviyya Shahin
Ulviyya Shahin
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The Baku Energy Forum recently provided a platform for Gary Jones, regional president of bp for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkiye, to reflect on Azerbaijan's remarkable journey since the inception of the "Contract of the Century" three decades ago. Acknowledging the significant strides made, he emphasized the prudent utilization of oil export revenues towards advancing green energy initiatives.

Jones highlighted the enduring global reliance on oil and gas while emphasizing the imperative to augment green energy production.

He lauded the foresight of Azerbaijan's energy strategy, noting its pivotal role in bolstering Europe's energy security through key projects like TANAP, TAP, Southern Gas Corridor, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipelines, which continue to underpin the country's economic growth.

Moreover, Jones underscored bp's commitment to this vision by announcing a $200 million investment in solar electricity production in Jabrayil and Nakhchivan. He emphasized the dual significance of this endeavor: meeting domestic energy demands while also contributing to global energy markets.

Jones expressed confidence in the successful completion of green energy projects through collaborative efforts between governments and companies.

Speaking to Azernews,Dr. Frank Musmar said that the EU and Azerbaijan have significantly deepened their energy cooperation by signing the “Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy” in Baku on July 18, 2022.

"This landmark agreement underscores the strategic importance of Azerbaijan's energy partnership with the EU, which substantially contributes to the union's energy needs. It supplies approximately 5% of the EU's gas demand, effectively bringing Caspian gas resources to the EU's energy market. This is due to Azerbaijan's significant crude oil production (32.7 Mt, including natural gas liquids) and natural gas (35.0 cm). The country's robust hydrocarbon production has led to one of the world's highest energy self-sufficiency ratios, with production exceeding demand by almost four times," the expert noted.

"Moreover, the memorandum supports green energy cooperation; therefore, the Azerbaijani government is developing a long-term energy strategy that will reflect on electricity and natural gas supply, energy efficiency, and renewables. This strategy will produce electricity using renewable energy sources while decreasing the use of natural gas for electricity production. It will also diversify Azerbaijani energy resources, supplying fossil fuels and green energy, Dr. Fransk Musmar added.

While the international expert answering the question "How can initiatives such as TANAP, TAP, and the Southern Gas Corridor contribute to diversifying Europe's energy sources and reducing dependence on traditional fossil fuels" that the EU actively supports the further expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) and recognizes its pivotal role in diversifying the EU gas supply. This is evident in the REPowerEU plan and the Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy with Azerbaijan.

"The Southern Gas Corridor is a tangible manifestation of Azerbaijan's energy partnership with the EU and serves as a key component in the EU's energy diversification strategy.

Europe is considering the enlargement of the SGC and enlisted related projects in the 5th Union list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), in particular the Adriatica and the Matagiola-Massafra gas pipeline projects in Italy, the EU as a recognition of such importance."

According to him, as part of the ongoing efforts to support future expansion, it is crucial to upgrade the gas infrastructure in the Southern Europe Region.

"This comprehensive plan includes a cluster of infrastructure, development, and enhancement projects that will facilitate the flow of gas from the SGC to Bulgaria and beyond. These projects, such as the Interconnection Greece – Bulgaria, the rehabilitation, modernization, and expansion of the Bulgarian transmission system, and the gas interconnection Bulgaria – Serbia, are tangible steps towards enhancing energy security in the region," Dr.Musmar said.

"As Europe prepares for the upcoming parliamentary elections, the Russian fossil fuel trade issue looms large on the agenda. By prioritizing joint efforts for alternatives from Russian fossil fuels, the EU can concentrate on investing in the SGC to support Azerbaijan's initiatives for green energies and depend on Azerbaijan's liquid and natural gas as an alternative to Russia's energy dominance over Europe," expert concluded.

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