Azerbaijani-Turkish agreement offers new opportunities for Azerbaijan in Europe's downstream sector
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 1 /Trend, E.Tariverdiyeva/
The transit agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey offers concrete perspectives for a European gas route and new business opportunities for Azerbaijan in Europe's downstream sector, Frank Umbach, Head of the Programme "International Energy Security" at the Centre for European Security Strategies, Munich-Berlin & Associate Director at the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS), King's College, London, said.
"For Azerbaijan it offers another strategic export route not just for the Shah Deniz-II gas fields, but also for the new ones such as Absheron, Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli and Umid," Umbach told Trend on Tuesday.
In late October, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a package of gas contracts which includes cost issues of Azerbaijani gas for Turkey in the Shah Deniz-2 project, volume of gas supplies to Turkey from the field after 2017, as well as a transit agreement for Azerbaijani gas transportation through Turkey.
The bilateral gas agreement with Azerbaijan is Turkey's fundamental strategic interest. It also serves its ambitious foreign policy and geopolitical interests, Umbach said.
"Turkey will become a major transition country and gas hub for Europe and the Caspian region. Furthermore, Turkey has only small gas reserves and own production," he said.
With regard to EU's strategic energy goals, Umbach said that the agreement offers a direct gas access and diversification option /no longer relying just on Russia's pipeline monopoly/ to the Caspian region, but as well as later to Iraqi and in the future also Iranian gas.
This has become even more important after opening the Nordstram pipeline, he said. A direct pipeline access to Caspian gas will also enhance the EU's future negotiation power for future gas contracts with Russia and other suppliers.
Umbach said that the bilateral agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey is a pre-condition for the EU's Southern gas Corridor projects.
The South Corridor is a priority EU energy project diversifying energy supply routes and sources and increasing EU energy security. The Southern Corridor includes the Nabucco gas pipeline, TAP and ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline). The gas produced within the second phase of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz Field is considered to be the main gas source for these projects.
Within Shah Deniz-2 project, Azerbaijan is planning to deliver 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. Now partners in the Shah Deniz development consider proposals from the pipeline projects to determine the route via which Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to Europe.