Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 6
By Aynur Gasimova - Trend:
Today, Europe gives a crucial place to the energy security in its energy policy and seeks to provide alternative sources of hydrocarbon supplies. However, the European media reports disseminated on Nov. 6 casts doubt on the sincerity of European politicians.
Deutsche Welle, said Nov. 6 that the EU's antimonopoly authority started to check the impending deal on the Azerbaijani State Oil Company's (SOCAR) acquisition of the Greek gas transportation operator DESFA.
The European officials fear that the competition level in Greece's gas market will decrease. The antimonopoly authority must render its decision in late March 2015.
For the most part, the tender held for the purchase of share in DESFA is a story with a sequel. And the main actors of this story are the Russian company Gazprom, which is the real supplier of gas to Europe, as well as the SOCAR - the expected gas supplier.
In this regard, a reasonable question arises: Does Europe really want to find an alternative, as it claims to?
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will deliver gas to Europe, is not a property of SOCAR. Its shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
Moreover, all the European participants of the TAP construction project are somehow involved in the distribution of energy in Europe, however, the EU has questions only to SOCAR.
It is not a secret that the main decisions in the EU are made by the organization's major players. As the practice shows, these major players least of all need to ensure their energy security and alternative supplies.
It is Southern and Eastern Europe who suffer from cold when the problems appear, while the Southern Gas Corridor project is primarily oriented for this region. And the main gas supplier, at least at the initial stage, will be Azerbaijan.
Of course, many wonder about the incomparability of gas supply volumes from Russia and Azerbaijan. And the best answer is that the volume of gas consumption in the countries, through which the Southern Gas Corridor and its branches will run, is not so high and it is more than enough to provide these regions of Europe with gas.
BP reported that the volume of gas consumption in Greece in 2013 stood at 3.6 billion cubic meters, while this figure was equal to 2.6 billion cubic meters in Bulgaria. This report didn't cover such countries as Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and other states.
Nevertheless, the 'Other European countries' item shows that these countries consume only 14.9 billion cubic meters of gas. These figures prove that the gas supply from Azerbaijan is of great significance for South-East Europe.
Europe's double standards with respect to Azerbaijan have long been no surprise to anyone. However, if earlier, Europe used double standards with respect to politics, now it tries to use them in economy as well.
It is up to Europe to decide what it wants. However, it is time for Europe to learn to build respectful relationships with its partners.
Aynur Gasimova is Trend English News Service Head
Edited by SI