Ilham Aliyev: The EU should remove bureaucratic obstacles for the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor

After the signing an important agreement on the Southern Gas Corridor, Azerbaijan has become an important partner for Europe,  stated President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on February 6  at “round table” on “diversification strategy” in the Munich Conference.

Aliyev reminded about the construction over the last two decades  by Azerbaijan oil and gas pipelines, which contribute to the energy security of Europe. “Today, oil  coming from Azerbaijan totals 30-40% of the energy balance of some European countries, and now is the turn  of natural gas,” said Aliyev.

“Azerbaijani gas is supplied to the regional market – Georgia, Turkey, Iran and Russia. In 2012, we signed an agreement with Turkey on the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline – TANAP. Without this agreement the project “Southern Gas Corridor” remained as a good idea.

In 2013, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline  (TAP) was chosen as the main supply route to Europe.

On September 20, 2014, the ceremony of laying the foundation of the Southern Gas Corridor took place in Baku, and we have already begun to implement basic infrastructure,” Aliyev continued. Along with the development of the field “Shah Deniz”, the investment cost of these projects is $45 billion. Therefore, it is necessary to coordinate the work between the States concerned.  “We need coordination and efficiency. Terms of European organizations are time-consuming. We are faced with the bureaucracy, but no time to lose,” said Aliyev.

According to him, the Azerbaijani gas will be the only new source of gas, which the  European consumers  will receive in the near future. All other projects provide diversification of  not sources, but routes.

“In the field  of “Shah Denis” there are more than  one trillion cubic meters of gas. Together with other fields, our proven gas reserves amount to at least 2.5 trillion cubic meters. This is a gas project, which will last  for decades, centuries, and will significantly change the energy map of Europe,” said Aliyev.

Aliyev also said that on February 12 Baku will host the first meeting of the Advisory Board of the project “Southern Gas Corridor” with participation  of officials  from Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and Italy. At subsequent stages  Croatia and Montenegro will join the project. In order to protect the project from the loss of time,  application of a “special approach” to ensure efficiency is required.

Aliyev also admitted that at the current price of oil and gas the commercial attractiveness of the Southern Gas Corridor is reduced. “But the project is to be implemented, for this is a project of  the energy security of the countries involved,” said Aliyev.

Aliyev said  that the works are going on   according to schedule, construction has already begun, pipes have been ordered, and contractors have been selected. “We made a commitment to implement the project TANAP until 2018, and TAP – till 2020,” said Aliyev. –

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