Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.26
By Aygun Badalova -Trend:
It is not a secret that now the attention of the energy world is fixed on Azerbaijan as one of the main player in the region and savior of Russia-dependent European gas supplies. The role of Azerbaijan in this issue can hardly be underestimated.
Europe, which in the course of the years has been dreaming about alternative sources of supply, now is much closer to its aim.
The outgoing year has become a milestone towards reaching a mutually beneficial goal of diversification, which will provide Azerbaijan with new gas export routes and Europe with new gas source.
This year will be remembered as the year which has opened the way for the Caspian gas to reach European markets for the first time in history.
We can highlight three important events that occurred in 2013, which have a big significance not only for Azerbaijan, but for the whole world energy.
The first event was the selection of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the European route for transportation of Azerbaijani gas. The selection made by the consortium of the huge Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development, was based on several criteria. Four projects were competing for getting Azerbaijani gas, and this shows the importance of the country as a gas source.
The second biggest event was the signing of long term supply agreements with the European buyers of Azerbaijani gas. Nine European companies showed their readiness and willingness to purchase gas to be produced during the second phase of Shah Deniz field development.
And finally the third important event which was a perfect close of 2013 for Azerbaijani and European diversification goals was the authorization of the Shah Deniz-2 project, which has open a new page in the Southern Gas Corridor's implementation. Following the final investment decision on the Shah Deniz-2 project the consortium of TAP has approved the Resolution to Construct.
The day of adoption of the final investment decision on Shah Deniz-2 project has been called an historical for Azerbaijan. Actually, not only that day, but the whole 2013 can be called an historical year not only for Azerbaijan, but also for all countries involved in the big chain of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Thus, the outgoing year has provided this huge project with all that is necessary for its further implementation. The route, through which Azerbaijani gas will be transported to Europe, the buyers of this gas as well as the readiness of the shareholders to invest is in place. The further steps will be directed at the physical realization of the projects within the Southern Gas Corridor.
Much work has been done. But there's still much more work to be done.
The next year is expected to be no less important. The main attention will be laid on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which will be preparing for construction works.
"TAP will continue to develop the project, leading up to construction, due to begin in 2015," the source in TAP told Trend. The construction of the pipeline will last about four years.
"This will include activities in TAP's transit countries - Albania, Greece and Italy, such as land easement and acquisition, public disclosure of TAP's Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, and on-going engagement with all relevant stakeholders."
In Particular, in 2014 TAP plans to enter into agreements with landowners regulating how the access to land can be granted.
For the time being the doors for Azerbaijani gas to European markets have been opened. And that was an historical step towards the implementation of historical Southern Gas Corridor - the project of significant importance for Europe's energy security.