Baku, Azerbaijan, May 4
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
Attracting investments of major international energy companies to Azerbaijan, was the country's way to develop, the country's President Ilham Aliyev said at the 48th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank in Baku May 4.
"Our target was to create self-sufficient economy, and for that the energy factor was the most obvious one," he said. "It attracted the most attention of our investors."
He went on to remind that in 1994 Azerbaijan started its energy strategy, which resulted in very active and broad cooperation between Azerbaijani government, its neighbors and foreign companies.
"We had huge gas reserves but we needed investments and needs to transport these reserves to the world market," Ilham Aliyev said. "We are landlocked, so we had to build pipelines."
The president went on to say that due to Azerbaijan's energy strategy and commitment, for the first time the Caspian sea is connected with Black Sea and Mediterranean sea through crude oil pipelines.
"That was the first step of changing the energy map of this region," Ilham Aliyev said.
He said that attracting investments in oil and gas allowed local Azerbaijani companies to get contracts and experience.
"Today, we know that energy security primarily is based on natural gas reserves," he said.
"From this point of view, Azerbaijan's role in the region is very important. We initiated the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor, which now connects almost 10 countries in the region and in Europe, and its construction has already started."
Today, Azerbaijani gas is needed by consumers in different parts of the world, said the president.
He also said that today energy policy increases geopolitical importance of Azerbaijan and increases its opportunities.
"When we complete the project of the Southern Gas Corridor in 3-4 years, Azerbaijan for many decades ahead, maybe even for 100 years, will be one of the most important suppliers of gas to the consumers in the region and in Europe."
The 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.
The Southern Gas Corridor project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field to Europe.
On December 17, 2013, a final investment decision was made on the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field's development. The gas produced at this field will first go to the European market (10 billion cubic meters). Around six billion cubic meters will be annually supplied to Turkey.
The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field was signed on June 4, 1996. The field's reserve is estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas and 240 million metric tons of condensate.
As part of the second stage of the field development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.