European Commission President: Azerbaijan and EU achieve reliable partnership in energy field
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 21 / Trend A.Badalova /
Azerbaijan is a very important partner for the European Union, and the two sides have achieved reliable partnership in the energy field, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said at a press-conference in Brussels on Friday on the results of the meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
The statement of Barroso is posted on the European Council's official website.
"We are both extremely pleased with the progress achieved on the Southern gas Corridor since our Joint Declaration of 2011. We have both worked hard for the realization of this strategic project for both Azerbaijan and Europe," Barroso said.
"I remember well our discussions when we met in Baku and, in fact, Azerbaijan has been delivering all the commitments that were taken at that time. And I'm proud that this declaration that I signed together with President Aliyev was at the basis of all these developments," he added.
Barroso said that President Aliyev confirmed that the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field will decide on the critical "European leg" of the Corridor next week, as foreseen, and choose between the two options, Nabucco-West and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
At the same time Barroso stressed that both Nabucco West and TAP are of strategic importance for the diversification of European gas supplies for the EU single energy market.
"I am therefore confident that both routes could ultimately be built, once we scale up the Southern Gas Corridor beyond the currently available gas with further resources. This can be a win-win situation," Barroso said.
According to Barroso, the Southern Gas Corridor is not a theoretical project on the drawing board.
"It is about to be realized to the benefit of all involved. It will bring initially 10 billion cubic meters to Europe by 2019, but we will not stop here. The Corridor could in the medium term cover more than 10 percent of our annual needs in Europe and thus contribute to our energy security, price stability, growth and jobs," he said.
The Southern Corridor is one of the EU's priority energy projects aimed at diversifying the routes and sources of energy supply, thereby increasing secure delivery. Gas to be produced during the second phase of the Shah Deniz field development is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects.
Currently, the Shah Deniz consortium considers two options for its gas transportation to Europe - TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) and Nabucco West. The final decision on the pipeline route will be made in June, 2013.