EU Commissioner: Historic decision on Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 8 / Trend E.Ismayilov /
The European Union aims to achieve a long-term gas cooperation with Azerbaijan in 2011, EU Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger said at a press conference in Baku on Wednesday.
"2011 is the year for integral decision making in favor of the EU-Azerbaijan long-term economic cooperation, particularly in relation to the gas sector, [...] the European Commission considers achieving long-term cooperation in 2011 to be its main goal. Such cooperation is sure to be beneficial to all participating parties, particularly to Azerbaijan," Oettinger said.
He said the Shah Deniz consortium will make a final decision on the routes in the second stage of the Shah Deniz field development in Azerbaijan by late October, he said.
In turn, the EU will work to harmonize all the issues under the Nabucco project by late 2011 to accelerate project implementation.
Oettinger said the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is a key partner that provides for the Caspian gas supply to Europe.
In turn, European companies are offering SOCAR to become a member of a new infrastructure that will be created in Central Europe.
Today, the European Commission is holding parallel talks with all potential gas suppliers for Nabucco, particularly on the Turkmen gas exports to European markets, he said.
He said that the Trans Adriatic Pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan on the Caspian seabed is of great importance. Negotiations are underway with Iraq regarding construction of the Iraq- Turkey gas pipeline.
Azerbaijan, Oettinger said, should be interested in the positive development of these negotiations, as this will further enhance the potential and transit value of the Southern Energy Corridor projects.
He said a decision to be taken by Azerbaijan on gas supplies to Europe will bear historical significance.