Working group to be created as part of master plan for Albania’s gas supply

Working group to be created as part of master plan for Albania’s gas supply

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.18

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

Azerbaijan and Albania have reached an agreement on creating a special working group to work out the feasibility study of the master plan for Albania's gas supply, a message posted on the official website of Azerbaijani State Oil Company (SOCAR) said.

Albania is one of the European countries that will get Azerbaijani gas within the Southern Gas Corridor.

The feasibility study of the master plan for Albania's gas supply was broadly discussed during a meeting between SOCAR delegation and the representatives of the Albanian government in Tirana on Feb.17, according to the message.

"Following the meeting, the sides agreed to create a special working group for the implementation of the feasibility study of the master plan," the message from SOCAR said.

The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the European Commission, Energy Community Secretariat, the consortium for construction of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP), BP, WBIF and national companies.

During the meeting, Albanian Minister of Energy and Industry Damian Gjiknuri praised Azerbaijan's role in the development of the Southern Gas Corridor project that will strengthen the relations between the two countries and SOCAR's active support in the implementation of the master plan for Albania's gas supply.

"The creation of a gas network in Albania will allow to expand the gas network of the Balkan region," he said.

Murad Heydarov, the advisor to SOCAR's president, for his part, said that Albania plays an important role in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project in South-Eastern Europe and in the Balkan Peninsula.

"Azerbaijani government intends to make a contribution to the development of Albania's gas market," said Heydarov.

He added that the governments of the two countries closely cooperate both within the TAP project and within other projects providing access to the alternative gas supply sources.

The next meeting on Albania's gas supply will be held in April 2015.

SOCAR expressed interest in 2014 to participate in the process of supplying gas to Albania. The company already has experience in organizing supply and management of gas distribution networks in Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Azerbaijan and Albania signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2014 on cooperation in the development of a master plan for gas supply to Albania.

SOCAR's high-ranking representative said in January 2015 that the company is preparing to study investment opportunities in Albania.

Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. This project is aimed at diversification of routes and sources of energy supply and thereby increase EU's energy security.

The Southern Gas Corridor envisages the delivery of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas condensate field to Europe.

A final investment decision was made on December 17, 2013 on the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field's development. The gas produced at this field will first go to the European market (10 billion cubic meters), while six billion cubic meters of gas will be annually delivered to Turkey.

As part of the second stage of the field's development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.

The first gas within the Shah Deniz-2 project will be delivered to Turkey in 2018 and to Europe in 2019.

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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