The Southern Gas Corridor project, which envisages transportation of the Azerbaijani gas to Europe, has enjoyed strong political support from the EU as it is seen as allowing for diversification of supplies and routes, as it would deliver non-Russian gas to Europe, Katja Yafimava, Senior Research Fellow in Oxford Institute for Energy Studies’s Natural Gas Research Programme told Trend by email.
Currently Russia is the core gas supplier to the EU.
However, Yafimava noted that the volumes contracted for Europe within this project are still relatively small – around 10 billion cubic meters from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field will have to reach Europe by 2020.
The analyst believes additional non-Azeri gas sources for the Southern Gas Corridor (i.e. Middle East or Central Asia) are possible in the 2030 timeframe but would face many political and commercial obstacles.
As for new Russian gas exports pipelines to Europe – e.g. Nord Stream 2, which will increase the capacity of an existing offshore pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia's coast to Germany, – there is no political support from the EU, Yafimava said.
On the contrary, she noted that there is quite a significant opposition to this project.
“It does not mean that it will not get built but it means that it might be delayed beyond 2020,” Yafimava said.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. It envisages transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz