By Vafa Ismayilova
Senior Azerbaijani and EU officials have hailed the Southern Gas Corridor's strategic role in ensuring secure gas supplies to Europe and Baku's long-term commitment to the implementation of the project.
In a joint statement on the seventh Baku-hosted Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council ministerial held on February 11, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi also supported all efforts to explore Southern Gas Corridor’s extension possibility.
“The seventh ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council, held in Baku on the 11th of February 2021 via videoconference, acknowledges the strategic energy partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union and welcomes the completion of the Southern Gas Corridor project and the start of gas supplies from Azerbaijan to the European Union," the statement posted on the EU website said.
It added that this historic achievement was built on the strong cooperation between the governments, international institutions, financial lender organizations, operators of upstream ventures and transportation systems, contractor companies, communities and local authorities along the entire 3500-km-long value chain.
"We recognize the Southern Gas Corridor as an important new transmission system, which enables the secure, reliable and competitive supply of gas from the Shah Deniz field in the Republic of Azerbaijan to Europe. It serves the strategic goal of enhancing the energy security of European countries, further facilitating the integration of the European energy market and contributing to the operational connectivity of gas networks across Southern and Central Europe," the statement noted.
The officials stressed the fundamental role of the Azerbaijani government for its long-term commitment to the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor to secure diversified and stable gas deliveries to Europe and to bring the benefits of greater economic partnership.