Azerbaijan entered a new stage of implementing its own energy strategy today. By signing documents on the final investment decision on Shah Deniz-2 project, the project partners, including State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), launched its physical implementation.
"Today is a historic day in the history of modern Azerbaijan," President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said at the signing ceremony.
Within the implementation of Shah Deniz-2 project, some $25 billion will be invested in the construction of new platforms, drilling, expansion of the Sangachal terminal located not far from Baku, expansion of the South Caucasus gas pipeline, as well as other related infrastructure.
However, in general, the project for delivery of Azerbaijani gas from Shah Deniz field to Turkey and Europe will not be confined to these investments. The total cost of the project for gas supply to European countries is estimated at $45 billion. Over 30,000 new jobs will be created as a result.
Additionally, the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) initiated by Azerbaijan, as well as the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP) will be constructed with these funds.
Azerbaijan has been recognized by the world community as a reliable energy partner. Along with oil supplies, the country provides almost all the neighboring countries of the region with gas. This increases their energy security, economic stability and diversification of sources.
Today, Azerbaijan has taken an important step towards ensuring the energy security of Europe.
"The Shah Deniz-2 project is one of the largest energy projects in the world," the president said. "This is a project of energy security, energy diversification, broad international cooperation among the countries and companies involved in this historic project."
A number of important decisions will be made in 2014 as part of supplying gas from Shah Deniz to Europe. In particular, these are the decisions on TANAP and TAP. In general, many important decisions are planned to be made in the future, but Shah Deniz project is the first step on a long way.
Signing documents on Shah Deniz -2 project is the beginning of the Southern Gas Corridor, opening the ways for gas from other Azerbaijani fields, and perhaps, from other countries of the Caspian basin in the future, as well as a new alternative source of supply to Europe.
Shah Deniz project and in general, the whole concept of Azerbaijani gas supplies to the West has had a lot of supporters and opponents for many years. However, most of them agree that this is a project that will change the energy map of the region and Europe.