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Monday May 23 2022

Southern Gas Corridor expansion to benefit Europe

26 April 2022 15:32 (UTC+04:00)
Southern Gas Corridor expansion to benefit Europe

By Ayya Lmahamad

Nowadays, the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is very important for the countries of Southeast Europe. However, in the future, the Southern Gas Corridor could expand to the entire European continent.

Azerbaijan has proven to be a reliable partner and managed to increase gas exports in a short period of time, including to the European market.

In the light of recent global events, Europe has made it clear that it wants more supplies of Azerbaijani gas via the Southern Gas Corridor, as it risks being left without energy resources, which will have a negative impact on the industry and economy of the EU countries. In this regard, the Southern Gas Corridor has a very important role in ensuring Europe’s energy security. The corridor ensures the diversification of gas supplies to Europe and also allows Europe to receive cheaper gas. At the same time, an increase in gas supplies to Europe is also beneficial for Azerbaijan as it enables to replenish the country’s budget.

Pumping additional volumes of gas through the Southern Gas Corridor could make a significant contribution to Europe’s efforts to diversify energy resources. It is worth noting that the Southern Gas Corridor already plays an important role in ensuring Europe’s energy security and additional volumes will only make a significant contribution.

In this regard, earlier this month Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov and EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi discussed the importance of intensive contact in areas covering cooperation on the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor to new energy markets.

At the same time, the Southern Gas Corridor brings EU-Azerbaijan relations even closer together and enhances Azerbaijan’s image as a reliable gas supplier in the eyes of Europe.

To recall, with the completion of the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) construction on December 31, 2020, Azerbaijan began commercial gas supplies to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor. The European Commission's Southern Gas Corridor initiative aims to build a natural gas supply route from the 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 TAP.

Last year, TAP transported 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. By late 2022, Azerbaijan plans to increase gas supplies to Europe to 9.1 billion cubic meters, and in 2023 the volume of gas supplies is expected to reach 11 billion cubic meters.

Additionally, today, the final work on the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), which will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria, is in full swing. Gas was supposed to start flowing via IGB back in 2020, but the project's implementation has been delayed for a variety of reasons.

According to the forecast of the Azerbaijani government for oil and gas production in the country until 2026, about 48 billion cubic meters of gas will be produced in 2023, 49 billion cubic meters in 2024 and about 50 billion cubic meters in 2025.

With direct access to the European market, which is the largest importer of natural gas in the world, Azerbaijan has diversified its export opportunities, and now has great opportunities to increase European energy security.

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Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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