Action Plan for Central and South Eastern Europe gas market to be set
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
An Action Plan for Central and South Eastern Europe is expected to be established during the next meeting of the High Level Group, which was initiated by the European Commission in order to advance diversification the region's gas supply, the source in the European Commission told Trend on February 10.
"The next ministerial meeting is supposed to take place by summer in order to approve and establish an Action Plan for the entire region," the source said.
On February 9, the first meeting of the Central East South Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC) High Level Group was held in Sofia. The representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia as well as European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy Miguel Arias Cañete attended the meeting.
At the meeting the High Level Group adopted its Terms of Reference which define the specific scope of its activities and governance structure.
The discussions covered both external and internal aspects of the supply situation in the region, with a specific focus on interconnections and on the optimal use of existing infrastructure.
"Three regional sub-groups will now discuss on technical expert level infrastructure issues in detail," the source in European Commission said.
In particular, the sub-groups will be looking at specific infrastructure corridors with the aim of identifying missing links and other barriers hindering effective market integration.
The European Commission has initiated a regional High Level Group in order to address and advance the different security of gas supply related issues, in particular diversification of gas supply, in the Central European and Southern European region.
The objective of the High Level Group is to establish a regional priority infrastructure roadmap and advance its implementation in order to develop missing infrastructure and improve security of gas supplies. Ultimately each Member State of the region should have access to at least three different sources of gas.
Early the European Commission's spokesperson said that for the Commission it is now a top priority to discuss with respective EU Member States from Central East and South East Europe how to better integrate the region into the European gas market, and diversify gas supply sources and routes.
In early December, 2014, the representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Romania and Slovenia held a meeting, during which the sides agreed on the necessity to integrate the gas markets of Central and South-Eastern Europe and diversify gas suppliers and routes.
According to the post-meeting joint statement, the integration of gas markets and the diversification of gas supplies will namely require putting in place the necessary infrastructure - which can be done by implementing key regional projects.
The LNG terminals with corresponding pipeline systems, connections to the Southern Gas Corridor, or the development of East Mediterranean and Black Sea offshore gas reserve were named among such projects.
The Southern Gas Corridor project envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe. This large project aims at diversifying the routes and sources of energy supply that will enhance energy security of Europe.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the second phase of development of Azerbaijani gas condensate Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. At a later stage, other sources may join the project.
The gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of the field's development will be exported to Turkey and to the European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AygunBadalova