Over 18.5 bcm of gas transported via Southern Gas Corridor [PHOTO]
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov has said that more than 18.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas were exported through the Southern Gas Corridor to consumers in Georgia, Turkey and Europe in 2021, as well as in January of this year.
He set the phrase during the plenary sessions held within the 8th ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council, held in Baku on February 4.
"During this time, only European countries have been provided with approximately 8.9 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani natural gas under long-term contracts, as well as short-term spot operations," he said.
Noting that the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council has successfully fulfilled its mission to supply natural gas to Europe through a huge corridor from a new source, the minister added that this corridor is a unique element of a sustainable energy supply.
He added that while the world's energy crisis is raging, the role of European consumers in energy supply has confirmed that the Southern Gas Corridor serves energy safety.
Shahbazov stated that the corridor could expand its strategic importance in ensuring energy safety with the help of interconnectors between European countries to the Western Balkans and other parts of the continent.
The minister also mentioned that to this end, it becomes relevant to start a new stage of activity, which includes such processes as signing contacts with consumers, attracting investments and increasing gas production, as well as building interconnectors.
"We are ready to cooperate with the European Commission and countries wishing to purchase additional volumes of gas or import and export gas, as well as contribute to the development of the Southern Gas Corridor," he said.
Azerbaijan's contribution to SGC
EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi stated that ensuring energy safety will remain a priority during the energy transition.
"Therefore, strategic partnership with Azerbaijan is important. I thank Azerbaijan not only for being an important reliable partner but also for its active role in energy safety," he said.
At the same time, Senior Advisor for Global Energy Security of the U.S. Department of State Amos Hochstein noted that the United States has appreciated Azerbaijan's significant contributions to European energy diversification through the Southern Gas Corridor.
"We are very glad that the Southern Gas Corridor has been implemented on time. Today, the importance of this corridor is better understood. This is an important project not only for reliable gas supply in Europe but also for the development of the gas market. We are pleased to support this project," he said.
Importance of Southern Gas Corridor
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said that the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor and the transportation of commercial gas to Europe are important steps.
He added that in order to increase the volume of gas to be transported through the corridor, there is a need for additional resources and additional resource countries.
"From this point of view, we are ready to further develop our cooperation with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan for the welfare of our region," he said.
Minister of State for Europe and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, MP Chris Heaton-Harris emphasized that this corridor is stable and reliable supplies for Georgia, Turkey and partners across Europe.
"Companies and countries, like Azerbaijan, who have been hydrocarbon superpowers, are amongst the best placed to be in the energy superpowers of the net zero age," the official said.
Undersecretary of Ministry of Ecological Transition of Italy Vannia Gava noted that natural gas is an irreplaceable resource for the energy transition.
"The price fluctuations that in recent months have seriously challenged the economies of many EU countries, starting with Italy, have highlighted the strategic importance of infrastructures such as the Southern Gas Corridor," she said.
Vannia Gava added that thanks to the coordination between the countries involved in the corridor, it is possible to balance the needs of all parties and guarantee Europe's energy security, which is absolutely an essential objective.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz