Baku, Azerbaijan, July 22
Azerbaijan's reserves are enough to supply Europe with natural gas for decades, said Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev.
He made the remarks at the joint press conference with the President of European Council Donald Tusk in Baku July 22.
"Azerbaijan's proven gas reserves are about 2.6 trillion cubic meters, Shah Deniz, which is so far the only resource for the Southern Gas Corridor, holds more than 1.3 trillion cubic meters.
"The Southern Gas corridor project, which was launched last September in Baku, is already in the active phase of implementation," said the president.
"Azerbaijan initiated this project, and is actively working with its partners, neighboring countries, investors, to implement the project on time."
President Aliyev went on to add that the Southern Gas Corridor is the project that unites countries and which is to the benefit of investors, transitors and consumers.
"This March, TANAP, which is the part of the Southern Gas Corridor, started to be constructed, and we're on time," said the president.
"TANAP is the project of energy security, and today energy security cannot be separated from national security," said the president, adding that TANAP is also a project of energy diversification.
TANAP project envisages transportation of gas of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey. TANAP's initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Around six billion cubic meters of this gas will be delivered to Turkey and the rest of the volume to Europe. Turkey will obtain gas in 2018, while Europe will get it in early 2020 after the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is constructed. The project's cost is estimated at $10-$11 billion.
The president further said that the Southern Gas Corridor is not only the diversification of roots but more importantly, diversification of supply sources.
"Azerbaijan, with its supply sources, infrastructure, and experience of implementing mega energy projects is playing its role here," said Ilham Aliyev.
The Southern Gas Corridor envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey. At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
Further on, the president said that among the discussed issues were also regional security issues in the broader region of Caspian, Middle East and Central Asia.
Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan has good potential for cooperation in culture and humanitarian spheres with Europe.
He also said that issues related to religious tolerance, religious dialogue are actively addressed here in Azerbaijan.
"Azerbaijan is already known in the world as international center of multiculturalism, and this could also be the format of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU," Ilham Aliyev said.