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Wednesday June 29 2022

Azerbaijani gas becoming highly valuable amid recent global events

7 March 2022 10:30 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijani gas becoming highly valuable amid recent global events

By Ayya Lmahamad

Against the background of the situation between Russia and Ukraine, the issue of security of energy supplies is particularly important for Europe.

Former U.S. ambassador Matthew Bryza told Baku-based news website Day.az that in this sense, Azerbaijan and its energy resources are extremely needed for the EU to cope with possible gas disruptions from Russia.

“That is why the EU is trying to get more natural gas from Azerbaijan. The problem is that now Azerbaijan does not have much more gas to export to other countries. Azerbaijan produces as much gas as possible from the existing fields,” he said.

The former ambassador also commented on Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s statement that Italy should think about increasing the regasification capacity and possibly doubling the capacity of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

"It's a brilliant idea. But to implement it, again, there is a need for more natural gas. Azerbaijan needs to find more gas to expand TAP. If this problem is solved, roughly by 2024 or 2025 the capacity of the pipeline will be increased. That is, it will take two or three years to develop new gas fields and start production," he said.

“In short, Europe needs more gas, regardless of its origin. Azerbaijan is working to increase its gas reserves. And increasing the capacity of the TAP depends on whether Azerbaijan will be able to find additional volumes of gas,” he added.

Bryza noted that if the situation develops in this direction, then Azerbaijan will get more profits from the sale of energy resources and the EU countries will not be so critically dependent on Russian gas supplies.

Zangazur corridor’s importance

In the video project "Actual with Sahil Karimli", Chairman of the Public Association for the Study of Economic Resources Ruslan Atakishiyev stated that the harsh sanctions imposed by Western countries against Russia will have a negative impact on the economies of the former Soviet countries.

"The Azerbaijani economy is based on a solid foundation. It has grown stronger through the diversification carried out in recent years. All these factors indicate that external economic shocks will not have a significant impact on the Azerbaijani economy," he said.

He noted that the economic reforms and large projects implemented by the Azerbaijani government in recent years were very important for the country’s future.

“We are optimistic about prospects as to the future. The forecasts are positive, and the upheavals in the world do not pose a serious threat to Azerbaijan. These processes significantly increase the importance of the Zangazur corridor,” he said.

Atakishiyev stated that the economic and political gap between East and West, the paralysis of trade relations between the conflicting countries actualize Azerbaijan’s transit opportunities.

“In this regard, the potential and importance of the Zangazur corridor is growing, which means incredible economic dividends not only for Azerbaijan but also for other interested countries,” he said.

Transit potential

Economist Alexander Razuvaev in an interview with local media also commented on how the current situation can affect the economic relations between Azerbaijan and Russia.

“In the current situation, it is clear that the trade turnover with Iran and India will grow. Accordingly, Azerbaijan’s status as a transit country for the Russian side is increasing,” he said.

He noted that since no sanctions are imposed on Azerbaijan, export-import of sanctioned products becomes a very important case.

“Naturally, Russia is interested in unblocking all logistics routes in the South Caucasus. With Western investments closed, Azerbaijan will actively attract Russian investments in the country, including in Karabakh,” he said.

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Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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