President Aliyev: Southern Gas Corridor to bring Azerbaijani gas to world market
Implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project will allow Azerbaijan to bring both gas from the Shah Deniz field and the Azerbaijani gas to be produced on other fields, to the world market, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.
The president added that it will allow for the country to fully implement both oil and gas plans.
He made the remarks speaking at the opening of the 23rd International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference and the 6th Caspian International Power and Alternative Energy Exhibition. The events kicked off in Baku on June 1.
The president stressed that currently the Shah Deniz is one of the largest gas fields in the world.
Gas produced at the Shah Deniz field goes to regional markets, he added.
Of course, speaking about the Southern Gas Corridor project, it's necessary to note the work done in the 1990s, said the president.
That's because if the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline hadn't been built at that time, of course, this corridor wouldn't have been created, either, he said.
The president added that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline connected the Caspian and Mediterranean seas and formed an energy corridor.
Now Azerbaijani gas will be brought to world markets through this corridor, he said. The president went on to add that one can say that the routes of these corridors are the same to a large extent, and this corridor is currently being transformed into a transport corridor.
By allocating oil revenues to transport infrastructure, Azerbaijan got very important transportation hubs, and the East-West Transport Corridor project is currently being implemented, Ilham Aliyev said.
He expressed confidence that this corridor will be fully commissioned before late 2016, and thus, oil, gas and transport corridors will pass through Azerbaijan. The president noted that Azerbaijan has taken necessary steps regarding the export of electricity, and currently the country exports it as well.
Azerbaijan's geographical location, investments made and thought-out policy, joint activity with partners created this reality, which serves both the Azerbaijani state, its people and ensures interests of neighboring countries, and, on a broader scale, strengthens international cooperation, said the president.
Of course Azerbaijan cannot implement any project without international cooperation, because it doesn't have access to open seas and world markets, said the president.
That's why large funds are allocated namely for construction of oil and gas pipelines, said the president of Azerbaijan.
The energy policy and cooperation in this sphere, the long-term cooperation should be built only on a healthy basis, said President Ilham Aliyev.
The president said the energy factor should never be used for other purposes and shouldn't be used to get privileges in other spheres. Ilham Aliyev said he believes that Azerbaijan's stance on this issue has won sympathy on a global scale.
On the other hand, this stance demonstrates its rightfulness and this shows that only this attitude can bring success, according to the president.
"We want Azerbaijan to develop more rapidly and want the stability to be strengthened in the region," said President Aliyev, adding that Azerbaijan is naturally concerned over the ongoing processes in the world.
Ilham Aliyev noted that new hotbeds of conflicts are emerging in various parts of the world, there are wars, confrontations, clashes and naturally, it is not a desirable situation.
"We are trying to ensure stability in our region," said the president, adding that a country's development is possible only under the conditions of stability and investments in the countries can be made only under the conditions of stability.
The president further said that the energy security is coming to the fore in the world and everyone understands that it is impossible to talk about the national security of countries without energy security.
The countries which are not rich with energy resources are naturally dependent on other resources, said the president.
Ilham Aliyev went on to add that Azerbaijan always had a goal to use the energy factor for intensifying the cooperation and has never used its potential for other purposes.
"We have had a desire to intensify the cooperation and ensure stability in our neighborhood, so that this stability would make it possible for us to implement the transnational projects, improve the welfare of Azerbaijani people and increase the power of our country," added the president.
There are no disagreements over the issues discussed in the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council, because, all interests - the interests of producing countries, Azerbaijan, transit countries and consumer countries - are ensured there, President Aliyev underscored.
"We can reach our goal only by reconciling these interests. If one of the three parties pursued only its own interests, we wouldn't achieve success. It is a very good example," he added.
2016 should be year of stabilization
The example of Azerbaijan can be interesting for many countries, said President Ilham Aliyev.
"This year, we will mark the 25th anniversary of restoring our independence," he said.
Over 25 years, Azerbaijan has proved that it can exist as an independent country, can be a master of its destiny and build normal relations with all countries, said Ilham Aliyev.
"Most importantly, we have very clear and precise views of the future," he added.
"Currently, we are seriously involved in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project," said President Aliyev.
"Meanwhile, probably, we are more seriously involved in economic diversification in order to completely overcome the dependence on the oil factor and to ensure sustainable economy in Azerbaijan," he added.
"There is much to do in this sphere and 2016 is a test year for us and for all oil-rich countries," said President Aliyev.
The oil prices have repeatedly dropped this year and naturally, it is a test for all countries, he said.
Ilham Aliyev said he believes that Azerbaijan is undergoing this test with dignity, adding that 2016 should be a year of stabilization.
"We are already witnessing it," he said. "The economic growth will be restored next year."
"We have lived under the conditions of highest economic growth over the last ten years. Azerbaijan's economy has grown more than threefold," said Ilham Aliyev. "Naturally, our economy, our people have accustomed to this. Now a new period begins."
"We can and are getting out of any situation with our head held high. Our main task is to ensure that the Azerbaijani people wouldn't suffer from the ongoing crisis in the world," said President Aliyev.
For this purpose, all the social programs are being implemented, the wages and pensions have been increased by 10 percent, the work is underway to create social infrastructure and of course, a good ground is created for the future, added the president.
Further, the president pointed out that the lower oil prices have created a stressful situation.
"I believe that it was beneficial for us. Many structures, including the state structures were accustomed to receive large amount of funds for the implementation of various projects," said President Aliyev. "We are now going frugal on these issues and funds are allocated only for priority issues."
"The primary funds should come from the private sector. Domestic and foreign investors are making investments and trust us. I believe that over these years, we have gained good reputation as a reliable partner," said the president.
"As you know, all the contracts in the oil sphere have been signed on the basis of share distribution. We can't and have no intention to change any single dot or comma there," said Ilham Aliyev. "This increases trust. Like in the oil sector, the transparency and forecasting tendencies should even more strengthen in all other spheres as well."
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