Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 12
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The Southern Gas Corridor will help Europe to achieve its own strategic objective, that is, to diversify supplies of natural gas, Matthew Bryza, the former deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan, former US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, and director of International Centre for Defence and Security in Tallinn, told in an interview with Trend during "This week in focus" program.
"New Southern Gas Corridor is a highway which will expand significantly, helping Europe to achieve its own strategic objective - to diversify supplies of natural gas," he said.
Bryza added that the Shah Deniz-2 gas, which will go to Europe, is of strategic significance.
He also recalled that Russia is to build the Turkish Stream pipeline, adding that from the commercial perspective - it is ridiculous.
"It is a pure political effort to block Azerbaijani gas from getting into the Europe and to control its flow," he stressed. "If Azerbaijani gas was not important we would not have seen such an initiative from Russia."
Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. This project is aimed at diversification of routes and sources of energy supply and thereby increase EU's energy security.
It envisages the delivery of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to Europe.
The gas to be produced as part of the second stage of the field's development will be exported to Turkey and European markets through the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
The first volume of gas from the Shah Deniz-2 will be delivered to Turkey in 2018 and Europe in 2019.
In December 2014, Russian company Gazprom and Turkish company Botas signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey.
The pipeline's transportation capacity is projected to stand at 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Of these, some 14 billion cubic meters of gas is intended for delivery to Turkey and the remaining volumes, about 50 billion cubic meters of gas, will be delivered to the border of Turkey with Greece.
The gas pipeline is projected to run on 660-kilometer section of the route, on which it was planned to build the South Stream, and on 250-kilometer section in a new corridor towards the European part of Turkey.
It is also planned that the first line of the pipeline, with a pumping capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year, will be stretched to Turkey in December 2016.
Edited by SI
Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AygunBadalova