US to continue cooperating with Azerbaijan in Southern Gas Corridor

US to continue cooperating with Azerbaijan in Southern Gas Corridor

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 11

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

Being a strategic partner and friend of Azerbaijan, the US will continue cooperating on the Southern Gas Corridor project and other projects to be implemented in the future, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the US Department of State Amos Hochstein told reporters July 11.

"Today, the delegation has met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev," he said. "We have discussed the energy security and the role of Azerbaijan and the US in partnership, Azerbaijani gas supply to Europe. This is part of the solution to the energy security problem of Europe."

"Under the leadership of President Aliyev, Azerbaijan has played an important role in transforming an idea into reality," he said. "The Southern Gas Corridor is being formed. The pipelines are being constructed. We are looking forward to its implementation. As a strategic partner and friend of Azerbaijan, the US will continue working with Azerbaijan on this and other projects in the future. The relations between the two countries are very strong. We intend to collaborate on further projects."

He said that the Southern Gas Corridor is a complex project from commercial and technical, as well as political and diplomatic sides.

"The US renders diplomatic and strategic support to this project," he said. "There are those who want to see the failure of this project. But there are the countries supporting the idea of other pipelines and projects. And I believe that the Southern Gas Corridor project, being implemented by Azerbaijan, is a project which will really ensure Europe's energy security. So, the US government will continue supporting this project at all levels as a major one in ensuring the energy security of Europe."

Commenting on the participation of the US companies in this project, Hochstein said that the US energy sector is totally private.

"We can not tell companies where to invest," he said. "The US wants to help the companies. Our support is not a business initiative. Our support is strategic."

He said that the purpose of the visit is to continue a dialogue between Azerbaijan and the US, which is based on the unity of the positions and efforts.

The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.

At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.

As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.

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follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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