By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan along with its partners is creating a new map of Eurasia that promotes a geo-economic environment, sustainable development and global cooperation, Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov has said.
Shahbazov made the remarks while commenting on the Southern Gas Corridor that will take Azerbaijani hydrocarbons to European markets.
Addressing the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council held in the format of a video conference on February 11, Shahbazov noted: “The commissioning of the Trans-Adriatic pipeline is not the end of the Southern Gas Corridor project, on the contrary, it means the beginning of new opportunities. Together with our parents we are creating a new map of Eurasia, promoting a geo-economic environment, sustainable development and global cooperation.”
He underlined that Azerbaijan has improved the security of the energy corridor and eliminated military threats to it by liberating its territories from Armenian occupation and restoring its territorial integrity.
“Having completed the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor, we are thinking about the next phase. The second phase will produce Azerbaijani gas at undeveloped fields, which will create new transit opportunities for new suppliers," Shahbazov added.
The minister emphasized that it is planned to export about 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Georgia, at least 8 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and over 5 billion cubic meters to Europe in 2021.
Shahbazov stated that next year, 13 percent of natural gas are planned to be delivered to Italy, 20 percent to Greece and 33 percent to Bulgaria via TAP, which is one of the mains segments of the Southern Gas Corridor.
“Both TANAP and TAP are scheduled to operate at full capacity until 2023. The Shah Deniz field has already produced 137 billion cubic meters of gas and is now essentially the main source of the Southern Gas Corridor,” he stated.
Noting that the SGC strengthens Azerbaijan’s energy security and diversifies markets, sources and routes for consumer countries, the minister noted that the SGC in the framework of the European Union’s Carbon Neutrality Priority opens new opportunities to supply fuel with the least impact on the climate.
BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gary Jones said during the meeting that for the first time, Azerbaijan’s gas is being transported directly to Europe from the Caspian Sea.
"President Ilham Aliyev's leadership, as well as his vision for the future, connected with his country and the entire region, has given a powerful impetus to make this historic achievement a reality. His personal efforts have played a crucial role in the successful implementation of the project which has become one of the most challenging projects in the global oil and gas industry. BP is immensely proud to have been involved in all phases of this project, which will benefit people in the region and Europe for decades to come,” Jones said.
Addressing the meeting, Director General for Energy Security and Infrastructure of Italy’s Ministry Gilberto Dialuce noted that Azerbaijani gas supplies to Italy through TAP in January 2021 amounted to 340 million cubic meters.
"Every day Italy receives about 11 million cubic meters of gas through TAP. In January 2021, Italy imported 340 million cubic meters of gas through the pipeline.”
It should be noted that Azerbaijani gas deliveries to Italy via TAP started on December 31, 2020.
The 7th ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council was held on February 11 via videoconference. The event was attended by the ministers, deputy ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Italy, UK, USA, Greece, Romania, Turkmenistan, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia and high-level representatives from various government agencies, as well as Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy and Oliver Varhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, and the representatives from companies participating in the project and international financial institutions.
The meeting was continued with two plenary sessions dedicated to the work done on the project, as well as the prospects of the project.
The first session was dedicated to the topic of "The Southern Gas Corridor: Achievements, Completion of TAP Project and Start of Gas Supply from Azerbaijan to Europe", while the second plenary session on "The Southern Gas Corridor Next Phase: Prospects And Challenges".
Additionally, a joint statement of the co-chairs on the outcomes of the 7th Ministerial Meeting of Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council was adopted.
Welcoming the completion of the Southern Gas Corridor project and the start of gas supplies from Azerbaijan to the European Union, joint statement recognizes the SGC as an important new transmission system, which enables secure, reliable and competitive supply of gas from the Shah Deniz field to Europe.
The statement supports the efforts of all interested partners to explore the possibility of extension of the Southern Gas Corridor towards new energy markets based on technical, regulatory and commercial opportunities, including the Western Balkans, as they progress in their transition towards a de-carbonised energy system.
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 (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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