Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 20
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
The Southern Gas Corridor will play an important role in diversifying the EU gas market and increasing the continent's energy security, UK Trade Minister Lord Ian Livingston said at the 20th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and the Southern Gas Corridor groundbreaking ceremony in Baku on September 20.
"The Southern Gas Corridor's construction will be one of the largest and most challenging infrastructure projects in the world," he said. "However, its importance is huge as well. Both during construction and on completion the Southern Gas Corridor will create major benefits not just for participating countries but in all of the countries along its route."
On behalf of the British government Lord Ian Livingston congratulated President Aliyev and the people of Azerbaijan on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Contract of the Century.
"I am honored to say a few words and particularly proud to do it in this amazing building of Heydar Aliyev Center because it was designed by British architect Zaha Hadid," he said.
He said that John Paul Getty once said the key to success was to rise early, work late and strike oil.
"That could be said of Azerbaijan," he said. "That combination has really assisted the incredible development of Azerbaijan. UK is very proud to be a partner in this success."
"The BP-SOCAR partnership turned Azeri-Ciraq-Guneshli into one of the largest offshore complexes in the world and the largest contributor into the economy of Azerbaijan," he said.
"I am proud to celebrate not only the 20th anniversary of ACG but also 20 years of solid UK-Azerbaijan relationships," he said. "It was some 20 years ago the embassies opened in Baku and in London. Along with establishing commercial relations, they have lead to foundations of strong bilateral links between two countries."
"UK and the country's companies are the largest source of direct investments in Azerbaijan's economy with some 500 companies doing business not only within oil and gas sector," he said.
He said that Azerbaijan itself is investing beyond the energy sector to both diversify economy and improve infrastructure, and the UK is ready to provide its assistance.
"For example, Azerbaijan has great potential in field of high technology and ICT," he said. "The Azerbaijani government's commitment to providing the stable climate for business indeed is the key factor in the success of our partnership and attractiveness of this country to the businesses who invest in it."
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.
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 gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of the field's development will be exported to Turkey and to the European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).