By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan will not abandon plans to supply natural gas into an extended pipeline network to Southern Europe, despite the ongoing military operations over escalated Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Reuters has reported with reference to SOCAR’s Vice-president Elshad Nassirov.
Nassirov said that the extension of the Southern Gas Corridor, Trans Adriatic Pipeline will be ready, already this month, to receive 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year, from the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea gas condensate field Shah Deniz.
“In just two weeks, a new piece of infrastructure will be ready,” he said.
It should be noted that Armenian armed forces launched a large-scale operation in the front-line zone on September 27 at 6 am, shelling the positions of the Azerbaijani army from large-calibre weapons, mortars, and artillery installations of various calibres. Armenia has been targeting Azerbaijan’s densely populated areas and infrastructure projects. Additionally, Armenia targeted Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Novorossiysk pipelines and Oghuz- Gabala-Baku water pipeline.
The Southern Gas Corridor is an initiative of the European Commission for a natural gas supply route from Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. The route from Azerbaijan to Europe consists of the South Caucasus Pipeline, the Trans Anatolian Pipeline and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline.
The South Caucasus Pipeline was built to export Shah Deniz gas from Azerbaijan to Georgia and Turkey. The pipeline starts from the Sangachal terminal near Baku. It follows the route of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) crude oil pipeline through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey, where it is linked to the Turkish gas distribution system. The pipeline has been operational since late 2006 transporting gas to Azerbaijan and Georgia, and starting from July 2007 to Turkey from Shah Deniz Stage 1.
TANAP is the central part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which connects the giant Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan to Europe through the South Caucasus Pipeline and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. The pipeline has a strategic importance as it allows the Azerbaijani gas exports to Europe. The capacity of the pipeline is 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year at initial stage and would be increased later up to 23 billion cubic meters by 2023, 31 billion cubic meters by 2026, and at the final stage 60 billion cubic meters.
Trans Adriatic Pipeline is a pipeline project to transport natural gas, starting from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further to Western Europe. The initial capacity of the pipeline will be about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, with the option to expand the capacity up to 20 billion cubic meters. Earlier it was reported that after almost four and a half years since the start of construction, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline is substantially complete.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz