By Leman Mammadova
The U.S. has always welcomed Azerbaijan’s initiatives on energy projects which contribute to the diversification of energy supplies of the European countries.
The Southern Gas Corridor plays an important role in terms of energy security and energy supply in the Balkans, Kent Logsdon, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Energy Resources, said at a meeting with Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov.
At the meeting, the sides discussed the 26th International Caspian Oil & Gas 2019 Exhibition, energy cooperation between the two countries, the Southern Gas Corridor project and the latest developments in the energy sector in Azerbaijan.
Shahbazov said that the Southern Gas Corridor project is about to be completed and the long-term support of the U.S. in this process is of particular importance.
He called the foundation of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) as the beginning of the new stage of the project's development, and spoke about the fields and their resources, which are being developed as additional sources for the corridor in the future.
During the meeting, detailed discussions were held on the work done to meet the domestic gas demand, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. The sides also discussed the prospects for cooperation in the process of expanding the use of renewable energy sources.
It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan remains one of the most significant trading partners of the U.S. in the CIS. So far, the U.S. has invested $13.6 billion in the Azerbaijani economy, while Azerbaijan invested $8.2 billion in the U.S. economy. The trade turnover between the two countries reached $858 million in 2018.
The U.S. has long supported Azerbaijan’s efforts to develop and export its energy resources to Western markets. The U.S. companies are involved in offshore oil development projects in Azerbaijan, export of aircraft and heavy machinery to Azerbaijan, and they have been exploring emerging trade and investment opportunities in agriculture, telecommunications, tourism, transportation services, and other fields.
The Southern Gas Corridor, a $40 billion worth project, envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and Europe through the pipeline, which will be operated within the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
The Southern Gas Corridor consists of four projects: Shah Deniz 2, Expansion of South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum), the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
On May 29, Baku hosted the launch of the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor project, and on June 12, the opening ceremony of the TANAP took place in the Turkish province of Eskisehir.
Thus, the first gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field has already gone through the first segment of the Southern Gas Corridor - from the Sangachal terminal to the expanded South Caucasus Pipeline.
Recently, the groundbreaking ceremony of Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria, a gas pipeline that will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor, took place in Bulgaria.
IGB is a gas pipeline which will allow Bulgaria to receive Azerbaijani gas, in particular, the gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 gas and condensate field. IGB is expected to be connected to TAP, to create an alternative source to Russian gas flowing to Bulgaria. The initial capacity of IGB will be 3 billion cubic meters of gas.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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