Ilham Aliyev attends Energy Security round table at Munich Security Conference (PHOTO)

Ilham Aliyev attends Energy Security round table at Munich Security Conference (PHOTO)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 14

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President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the Energy Security Roundtable as part of the Munich Security Conference.

The head of state made a speech at the roundtable.

Speech of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev

- Last year was a significant one for our country and, I think, for the energy security of Europe, because together with our partners we successfully completed the main TANAP gas pipeline, which has reached the Turkish-Greek border. This means that three of the four segments of the Southern Gas Corridor have already been successfully completed. As for the last segment, the TAP project will be completed at the end of this year. Thus, an integrated pipeline system with a length of 3,500 kilometers will be commissioned. This is one of the main infrastructure projects in our region. Of course, it is very important for us, our partners and the energy security of Europe.

At the end of this month, we will be hosting the traditional Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor, which we annually hold in Baku to review the work done and plan on future activities. I hope there will be many participants. Today we are working with new countries in connection with future projects. The Southern Gas Corridor links seven countries – Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and Italy. Three Balkan countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia, have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with us in connection with joining the project in the second phase which, in particular, provides for the construction of the Ionian-Adriatic pipeline through these countries. In technical terms, this is feasible, from the point of view of gas reserves it is as well. We have increased production and, of course, there will be a need for more support from the European Commission. Because if this project is also included in the number of projects that meet the common interests of the European Union, then its implementation will go faster. Some countries working with us on the Southern Gas Corridor will have the opportunity to have alternative sources of supply for the first time in history. An alternative source is not only about a route, because when we talk about security, we should talk about the source. In our person, the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to the European and Turkish markets is a new source and a new route. I believe that this is the advantage of our project, which is why the European Union gives it strong support. For this reason, even though the final work will be carried out before the end of this year, we can consider the Southern Gas Corridor to be a completed project.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan continues to be a very stable oil supplier. Since 2006, when the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was commissioned, there have been no interruptions, force majeure situations or problems. From a geopolitical and technical point of view, it was also very difficult to implement because it was connecting the Caspian and Mediterranean seas for the first time.

For some countries, including European ones, Azerbaijani oil makes up about 40 percent of their consumption. Therefore, we will continue to remain a reliable partner as an oil supplier. We have recently extended a contract with BP. Until 2050, we will have a relatively stable production profile. Therefore, exploration work is underway on new projects. We are currently experiencing the second phase of the oil boom, if I may say so. Many large companies are returning and getting engaged in new projects. This will allow us the opportunity not only to maintain, but also to increase the production profile.

We are an active member of OPEC+. One of its meetings took place in Baku at our invitation. When the question was asked in Davos in 2016, “What can we do about the oil price?”, I replied that it would be nice if the main OPEC and non-OPEC countries could come together and agree with each other. I am glad that this happened. I think that this should be continued. I believe that especially now, despite all the difficulties in the oil-producing countries due to the situation related to the coronavirus – Mr. Birol has presented very interesting information – given the reasons for the drop in oil prices, as well as the fact that they can continue to fall, cooperation of OPEC+ is very important. Because the situation today is such that OPEC and non-OPEC countries operate in the same organization. We have no other organization and cooperation of this kind. Sometimes countries cannot come to an agreement within one organization. We have this unique format, and we should not miss it.

In conclusion let me talk about renewable energy. Azerbaijan is also paying a lot of attention to that. Our plan is to provide 30 percent of electricity through renewable energy by 2030. In January this year, we signed two agreements on the construction of 440MW wind and solar energy stations with leading companies specializing in renewable energy. This work will be fully implemented through foreign investment. In this connection, we have at least five more proposals. Our country is rich in oil, gas, sun and wind. Several wind farms can be built on the Caspian Sea. There are great opportunities for this. However, I am absolutely sure that we should do this carefully because the 440MW power station should be fully integrated into our system so that in the absence of wind and sunny weather, there are no interruptions in the generation of electricity and power supply is not interrupted. Thank you for the opportunity to bring this issue to your attention.

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