Azerbaijan is one of the few countries in the post-Soviet area, which is not under anyone's control and managed to maintain an independent policy for 20 years, U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar said at the first International Caspian Energy Forum-2014 in Baku on April 23.
"Azerbaijan's energy resources were always important, but their importance is growing amid the recent events related to Ukraine and Russia," he said. "The success of large energy projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is the result of international cooperation."
"The U.S has its own interests in the region. Azerbaijan's oil and gas is not directly supplied to the U.S.," he said.
"The support for Europe's energy security and diversification of the sources of energy supply are among these interests," Morningstar added.
"The cooperation among Azerbaijan and international partners in the energy sector was a very far-sighted action as energy resources play a special role for other countries," the diplomat said.
"The decisions on Trans Adriatic Pipeline [TAP], the final investment decision on the second stage of development of Azerbaijani offshore gas condensate Shah Deniz field made in 2013 created the opportunities for reaching progress on the Southern Gas Corridor," he added. "The U.S. will continue working with Azerbaijan and other partners for the sake of further development of the Shah Deniz project."
The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field, which has proven reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas, was signed on June 4, 1996.
Participants in the Shah Deniz field development are the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) with a share of 16.7 percent, British BP (28.8 percent), Norway's Statoil (15.5 percent), Iran's NICO (10 percent), French Total (10 percent), Russia's Lukoil (10 percent),Turkish TPAO (9 percent).
On December 17, 2013 a final investment decision was made on the second phase of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field development. Some 10 billion cubic meters of gas from this field will be supplied to the European market.
The gas to be extracted within the second phase of the field development will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Gas Pipeline and constructing the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP).