Pipeline scandal in Georgia - proof of Azerbaijan's far-sighted energy strategy
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 20
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
The scandal surrounding the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline which transports Azerbaijani oil, is explained differently, both from political and economic viewpoints. But first of all, it proves namely farsightedness of Azerbaijan's energy strategy, since the current situation with oil pipeline is in fact being resolved with the ideas embodied in Azerbaijan's energy strategy decades ago.
Naturally, the scandal surrounding the "moving of borders" of Georgia's unrecognized republics has hidden political motives. Oddly enough, Tbilisi gains the largest dividends from these activities. Georgia demonstrates the fact of occupation of its territories to the whole world with the fact of "moving of borders" and problems with the large international oil transportation project. This explains the non-use of force from the Georgian side.
However, despite all the developments, oil export via this pipeline is not a critical issue for Azerbaijan. Why?
The answer to this question is first of all explained with Azerbaijan's energy strategy that was founded in early 1990's and continues today. Currently, Azerbaijan has seven routes of hydrocarbon export, four gas pipelines and three oil pipelines.
Azerbaijani oil is delivered to world markets via such pipelines as Baku-Supsa (Black Sea), Baku-Novorossiysk (Black Sea) and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (Mediterranean Sea).
Thus, if one of these routes stops operating, it won't be a critical problem and Azerbaijan can always redirect oil from the western route to any other, all the more so, the capacity of the pipelines also allow that.
That's to say, if oil transportation through the Baku-Supsa pipeline is suspended, it can be redirected to Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan or Baku-Novorossiysk (or both simultaneously) any time.
In fact, with its activities, Moscow pushes the oil exporters to use the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline that runs through Russia, all the more so, transportation via this pipeline has significantly dropped in recent years.
All these facts suggest that despite all the conflicts, Azerbaijan has long ago ensured diversification of routes of energy supply to world markets and created multidirectional routes. This is called energy security.
Today, Europe needs Azerbaijan's experience in ensuring energy security and multidirectional supply routes. Of course, Baku is ready to share its experience, it is economically expedient as well.
Edited by SI
Seymur Aliyev is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service