Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 12
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on Feb. 12 took part in the ministerial meeting held as part of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council in Baku. The president addressed the first meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council.
He thanked the leaders of the countries participating in the Southern Gas Corridor project for their support to the initiative to hold the meeting in Baku.
The president said the meeting is being held in a very good time - in the year of practical implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, which is of great importance.
He also expressed confidence that the discussions and exchange of views held during the meeting will contribute to the project's successful implementation.
President Aliyev described in details - since the country's independence - the realized events and projects, related to the oil strategy, which was authored by Azerbaijan's great leader, Heydar Aliyev.
The president said a joint declaration was signed on the Southern Gas Corridor in 2011 with the then European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, adding that in the document Azerbaijan is indicated as a country, making a major contribution to the Southern Gas Corridor and realizing it.
The president underscored that the TANAP and TAP projects are an important milestone in the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor.
It was noted that the foundation for the Southern Gas Corridor was laid on Sept. 20, 2014, that is, exactly 20 years after the signing of the Contract of the Century.
President Aliyev stated that the close cooperation between Azerbaijan's State Oil Company (SOCAR) and BP played an important role in the success achieved in the past years with regard to the oil and gas projects.
The president stressed that the Shah Deniz field, which is operated by BP, is the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor.
Noting that the proven gas reserves in Azerbaijan exceed 2.5 trillion cubic meters, President Aliyev highlighted the importance of coordinating the efforts among the producer countries, consumers and transit countries in connection with the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor.
He said that currently the diversification of energy resources is the issue, which is discussed on the main arena of international organizations.
President Aliyev said Azerbaijan plays its role in the diversification, adding that the diversification implies not only the diversification of routes, but sources as well.
He said the diversification of routes is important, however, when the source remains the same, the situation doesn't change very much, adding that the diversification of sources is important.
The president noted that in this case, Azerbaijan's gas produced in the Caspian Sea will, in the coming years, be the only new gas source for the European consumers. He said this, of course, creates a completely different situation.
President Aliyev expressed confidence in a positive settlement of all issues, envisaged for the project's realization and its timely implementation, and wished success to the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Board.
Further on, after highlighting President Aliyev's merits in the Southern Gas Corridor's realization, the European Commission's vice president in charge of the Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic said he is engaged in the creation of an energy union in the EU.
He added that the discussions related to the project on the agenda have reached a higher level politically. Sefcovic said Europe is interested in diversification of sources and resources for energy security.
He said that according to calculations, the volume of gas imported by the EU will in the future stand at 84 percent, and oil imports will amount to 94 percent.
Sefcovic added that consistent steps, which are aimed at energy security of all countries - the EU members and the real integration to the European energy system, will be further taken.
From this point of view, Sefcovic expressed hope for successful and rapid implementation of the project for the Southern Gas Corridor.
Afterwards, the Advisory Council continued its discussions related to the issues on the agenda.
Following the event, the participants of the ministerial meeting held as part of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council signed a joint statement for the press.