Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
Azerbaijan is rapidly turning into a major player in the world energy industry. It has proved itself to be a reliable oil supplier; and now the country is on its way to gain the same status in the world gas industry.
The Southern Gas Corridor, in which Azerbaijan has a key role is considered as the project that will change the energy map of Europe and the world.
An important milestone in the project implementation has been achieved this week with the signing of the Shah Deniz-2 final agreement.
Gas to be produced as part of the Shah Deniz-2 project is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor - the project which is now one step closer to the European dream of energy supply diversification.
Experts believe that a great event has happened in Baku this week.
"Shah Deniz-2 has opened the door to the EU gas market," Andrej Tibold, editor-in-chief at Eurasia Energy Observer told Trend. "I think it is of historic importance for the EU's Southern Corridor strategy."
"Let's hope that Shah Deniz-2 is only the beginning of a new and mutually beneficial era between the Caspian countries, including Azerbaijan, and the EU market," Tibold added.
The Southern Gas Corridor is considered as a multi-sources project. Azerbaijani gas will just open the doors for the rich Caspian resources to reach the world markets.
The European Commission expects the project to grow swiftly, bringing more volumes of gas from more countries in the Caspian region to Europe. Turkmenistan is among the countries that in perspective could be a potential source of alternative energy supplies for Europe.
Tibold believes that considering the many gas reserves that are available in the Caspian, there is plenty of room and opportunity for widening and deepening the relationship between the region and the EU.
"With indigenous production in the EU falling, demand for gas will continue to rise. With the Shah Deniz-2 having opened the door to the EU, other countries in the Caspian, such as Iran, might also start supplying through the Southern Corridor in the foreseeable future," Tibold believes.
According to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) estimations, in 2012 proved and probable reserves within the basins that make up the Caspian Sea and surrounding area amounted to 48 billion barrels of oil and 8.268 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.
EIA estimates that the Caspian Sea region produced an average of 2.6 million barrels per day of oil and lease condensate in 2012, around 3.4 percent of the total world supply. The natural gas production in the Caspian region, according to the EIA's estimations amounted to 79.3 billion cubic meters in 2012.