Azerbaijan never regarded its gas supply via Southern Gas Corridor as alternative
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2
Azerbaijan has never regarded the project for the delivery of Azerbaijani gas via the Southern Gas Corridor as some kind of alternative, said President Ilham Aliyev in an interview with Russia 24 TV channel.
Azerbaijan is exporting gas to Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Russia, he said.
"Our reserves are very large, therefore, we, of course, need to sell them," he added.
The president said the Southern Gas Corridor project has been planned long ago, and earlier it was called the Nabucco project.
"When we saw the Nabucco project is not viable, namely because there was no political will, financial resources, coordination or consolidation of efforts, it seemed to us that someone wants to secure own welfare at our expense," he said. "Azerbaijan's role in that project was brought simply to the crude base, which categorically didn't suit us."
The president said the project got off the agenda, but Azerbaijan had to sell its reserves.
He noted that the main market for Azerbaijan's natural gas is Turkey and Europe, adding that Iran and Russia themselves have large volumes of natural resources, while the Georgian market is quite small.
"Thus, we initiated the Southern Gas Corridor project, and we concluded an agreement with Turkey in 2012 on the construction of TANAP - the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline, which is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor," he said. "It has already begun to be implemented."
"Every country wants its role to grow, its importance to grow. Thereby our capabilities will expand as well," said the president.
He noted that the Southern Gas Corridor project is the development of the Shah Deniz-2 field.
"As part of this project, it is expected to produce and sell 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year, in addition to the eight billion that we sell today," the president said, adding that Turkey will receive some six billion out of that volume aand several European countries - 10 billion.
President Aliyev said TANAP will allow Azerbaijan to sell large gas reserves.
"I cannot say that it will bring immediate profit, because the costs are very large and it will be necessary to reimburse them," he said. "Moreover, gas revenues are incomparable with oil revenues. The main source of currency revenues for is still oil export, which has been stabilized and will continue in this way for a long time."
The Azerbaijani president also said the gas factor will strengthen the country's economy, and will indeed considerably enhance Azerbaijan's role and its importance for consumers.