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SOCAR: Southern Gas Corridor to bridge Caspian region and Europe

05 June 2014 [10:27] - TODAY.AZ
The 'Southern Gas Corridor' project will change Europe's energy map, according to Elshad Nasirov, Azerbaijani State Oil Company's (SOCAR) Vice President for Investments and Marketing.

Elshad Nasirov made the remarks at the 21st Caspian International Oil & Gas Exhibition, held in Baku on June 4.

He said this historic project will connect the energy-rich Caspian region to Europe for the first time.

"We see this project as an opportunity for major partnership in the energy sector," Nasirov stressed.

SOCAR vice president went on to say that Azerbaijan is committed to supplying oil and gas to Europe and neighboring countries.

Nasirov underscored that natural gas is the most competitive fuel type compared to other types of fuel.

He said that at the same time, natural gas is a complicated type of fuel in terms of supply security.

However, the supplies via pipelines will be preferred in the future, according to the SOCAR vice president.

Nasirov also underscored that the 'Southern Gas Corridor' project is designed to increase the energy security in major gas markets.

"This corridor will become a catalyst for creation of interconnectors in the South-East of Europe," Nasirov stressed.

He also stressed that Azerbaijan's security can be considered as part of Europe's security policy.

"Therefore, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement and liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan should be a priority for European security policy," Nasirov underscored.

Southern Gas Corridor will allow Europe to diversify its hydrocarbon supply sources and strengthen energy security and also will allow Azerbaijan to obtain a new market in Europe.

On December 17, 2013, a final investment decision was made on the Stage 2 of Azerbaijani 'Shah Deniz' offshore gas and condensate field's development. The gas produced at this field will go to the European market.

The gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of the field's development will be exported to Turkey and to the European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

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).

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.


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