Azerbaijan's role in ensuring Europe's energy security difficult to overestimate
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. / Trend S.Aliyev, E.Tariverdiyeva /
The role of Azerbaijan and in particular, the Azerbaijani gas in ensuring energy security in Europe is difficult to overestimate, chairman of the Baku Nobel Heritage Fund Togrul Baguirov believes.
"This role has recently increased significantly; Azerbaijan has become a serious player in the European gas market. With its huge gas reserves, Azerbaijan, along with other countries in the Caspian region is actively involved in ensuring Europe's energy security," president of the Moscow International Petroleum Club and the UN expert on energy issues Togrul Baguirov said in an interview with Trend.
In his view, the issues of energy security in recent years have become extremely relevant and are of great public interest.
Baguirov said energy security in fact, became an integral part of global security in the world, and the development of many countries, particularly countries in the Eurasian region depends on its solution.
The system of energy security provides for finding a reasonable compromise between the energy producing countries, consuming countries and transit countries, the expert believes.
Baguirov noted this problem is in the focus of the world's leading powers and is discussed at almost all high forums, including G8, G20, the UN and other organizations.
Today, Azerbaijan considers three proposals for the transportation of gas to Europe - Nabucco, TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) and SEEP (South-East Europe Pipeline, proposed by BP).
In addition Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the consortium that will build the Trans Anadolu Pipeline (TANAP) for supply of gas from Shah Deniz gas field to Europe through Turkey. Gas produced during the second stage of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development is to be the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Under the Shah Deniz - 2 project Azerbaijan plans to supply 10 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe.
Baguirov also said the TANAP in principle, is an alternative to Nabucco, a kind of compromise.
"TANAP is two times shorter than Nabucco. Its implementation will not require excessive investment, long-term agreements and approvals in the EU countries," the expert said.
He believes reduction in gas consumption in Europe is a temporary phenomenon, the crisis sooner or later will be overcome.
"At the same time Nabucco will remain as exceptionally regional Inter-European gas pipeline," he said.
Speaking of the European gas market it should be borne in mind that Europe may witness in the near future the so-called shale revolution, similar to the American, Baguirov said.
The expert said some European countries have huge reserves of this unconventional gas.
"The last severe winter showed that, despite the temporary increase in the price of LNG in Europe, in general, its price advantage over the piped gas is obvious (at different times more than $100 per thousand cubic meters)," the expert noted.
Baguirov said therefore, the conclusion is one - gas-producing countries, particularly Azerbaijan, seeking its place in the European gas market - must hurry.
Shale gas is natural gas produced from shale and consisting mainly of methane. Shale gas deposits are developed in the U.S. and some European countries.
Nabucco gas pipeline project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to the European countries. The construction of Nabucco pipeline with maximum capacity of 31 billion cubic meters is planned to start in 2013 and its first supplies are scheduled for 2017.
The project's partners include Bulgarian Energy Holding, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas, Austrian OMV, German RWE and Hungary's FGSZ.