Baku, Azerbaijan, July 9
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
All kinds of rumors and speculation about various difficulties in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, initiated by Azerbaijan, have not ceased since the very first day it was announced.
The timing of implementing the projects causes many discussions. After Russia proposed constructing the Turkish Stream pipeline, the media had a kind of competition of opinion about the gas pipeline to be built earlier.
However, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz has said today that the sides have no final agreement on the Turkish Stream pipeline.
However, it was not a big surprise. The Turkish side has repeatedly stated that TANAP is a high priority project. Moscow's inability to make concessions on the gas prices is against it. All these factors point towards the Turkish Stream being gradually eliminated.
But the whole point is that even if the Turkish Stream is built, this will have absolutely no impact on Azerbaijan. All volumes of Azerbaijani gas, which will go via the Southern Gas Corridor (16 billion cubic meters per year) have been agreed upon for 25 years, have their buyers and the exact time of delivery. Besides, Azerbaijan can quite use the capacities of the Turkish Stream to pump additional gas from its fields, as the officials said.
Interest in the issue of timing of the Southern Gas Corridor was fueled by the fact that in recent days the media has repeatedly given information with reference to the annual financial report of SOCAR, according to which TANAP will allegedly be ready much later than the declared period. However, on July 8, the head of the press service of SOCAR Nizamaddin Guliyev clarified this issue, suggesting that the information from the report was apparently misinterpreted.
He said the construction of TANAP is being carried out at full speed and sometimes it even goes ahead of schedule. The paragraph, which said that the gas supply would start between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2021, caused confusion. It implied the gas volumes for European consumers but not for Turkish ones, therefore, there is a gap in the timeframe.
Moreover, violation of any contracts and agreements can cause fines worth millions, which by no means can be advantageous for either side. This only proves that every effort will be made to ensure the commissioning of the "Southern Gas Corridor" on time.
According to the plans, the first Azerbaijani gas should be delivered to Turkey and Europe in mid-2018 and 2020, respectively. There is no doubt that Azerbaijani gas will be in the right place at the right time.
Edited by CN
Maksim Tsurkov is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov