By Nigar Abbasova
The United States announced that it will further support the Southern Gas Corridor project, which will provide Europe with a new source and route of natural gas supply.
The importance of the project was high on agenda during the meeting between Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev and Amos Hochstein, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in Baku on December 15.
Aliyev, addressing the meeting said that the project is a priority for Azerbaijan and the government is committed to its implementation.
“The quality and timely implementation of the project is the main goal of Azerbaijan and is the government’s priority,” he said.
Underlining the importance of the international support, Aliyev said that the role and support of the U.S. is commendable.
Moreover, Azerbaijan considers it necessary for the U.S. to get involved in resolving the situation around the implementation of the SGC project in Greece and Italy.
Amos Hochstein, in turn, said the SGC is important not only for Azerbaijan, but also even more for Europe, and the project is of strategic importance for the United States.
He said that the U.S. will continue to support oil and gas production in Azerbaijan, as well as transportation of oil and gas to the world markets, underlining that the new U.S. government will continue a similar policy towards the SGC project.
The strong support of the U.S. was reiterated by the official during a press conference in Baku. Hochstein said that Washington will continue providing support for the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project despite the political changes in Europe and the U.S..
Hochstein said Washington will go on supporting the SGC project’s implementation in the same way as once it supported and realized the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.
“The Unites States is closely working with Azerbaijan and its allies to ensure that the Southern Gas Corridor project is completed and is successful,” he said.
Emphasizing the important role of Azerbaijan in ensuring Europe's energy security, he hailed the role of the SGC project under the conditions when Europe is facing the threat of energy monopolies, threatening its economic and political security.
As for the TAP Project, Hochstein said that during the implementation of multilateral projects, in various stages, some difficulties can be created by local community and politicians, adding that the problems can be solved with the participation of project partners.
The SGC envisages transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas to European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
TAP project envisages transportation of gas from the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to the EU countries.
The 870-kilometer pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy's south.
TAP’s route through Albania will be approximately 215 km onshore and 37 km offshore in the Albanian section of the Adriatic Sea. It starts at Bilisht Qender in the Korca region at the Albanian border with Greece, and arrives at the Adriatic coast 17 km north-west of Fier, 400 meters inland from the shoreline.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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