Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 20
By Aygun Badalova, Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
The Southern Gas Corridor will be a strategic energy avenue for 21st century, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a video message, at the 20th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and the Southern Gas Corridor groundbreaking ceremony.
"The Corridor is more than a pipeline. It will be a strategic energy avenue for the 21st century, a true geostrategic project," he said.
He stressed that today Azerbaijan makes an important contribution to Europe's oil imports.
"At the same time we are celebrating the progress made regarding the Southern Gas Corridor," Barroso added.
He stressed that once completed, the corridor will stretch over 2000 kilometers along the Caucasus, across Turkey, through Greece and Albania, across the Adriatic, to connect the Caspian with the heart of EU.
Mentioning the Southern Gas Corridor, Barroso said it will become the "contract of the 21st century."
European Commission President also noted that today Azerbaijan is closer to the EU than ever.
"Its economy is more deeply integrated with European market. Our relations are broader, our contracts are more intensive," he said, adding that the EU wants to develop even closer ties with the country in many different fields.
Azerbaijan's gas supplies to Europe will open the "Southern Gas Corridor", which will allow Europe to diversify its sources of hydrocarbon supplies and boost energy security, and on the other hand give Azerbaijan a new market - Europe.
In order to ensure the gas supplies to the new market, a final investment decision was made Dec. 17, 2013 on the Stage 2 of development of the Shah Deniz field. Some 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of the field's total gas output will go to Europe, while 6 bcm will be annually delivered to Turkey.
The gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of the field's development, will be exported to Turkey and the European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).