Southern Gas Corridor has means of moving beyond pipeline politics
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 11
By Aygun Badalova, Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
The Southern Gas Corridor, which proposes gas supplies from the Caspian region to Europe, is an essential project and must be supported, the British Transatlantic and Caucasus Studies Institute director Ziba Norman told Trend.
"The Southern Gas Corridor and the diversification of supplies it offers to the EU is essential and must be supported, given the nature of the project," Norman said.
She believes that one should not be looking at this as a static project, rather as an evolving one.
This is both a project and a statement of intention. A means of moving beyond pipeline politics, she said.
"Ultimately the Southern Gas Corridor will enhance the possibility of peace and security, keep forces and interests in balance. It is an important building block for the establishing of that peace," Norman said.
Unlike the Southern Gas Corridor, Nord Steam and other essentially Russian inspired gas pipeline projects will not enhance that balance, according to the expert.
The tensions between the EU and Russia can best be diffused from a position of strength, Norman said, adding that the Nord Steam project enhances that whatever the costs.
With regard to the possibility for the Southern Gas Corridor to be scaled up, Norman believes that it may eventually bring, when political conditions improve, new supply links from both Iran and Turkmenistan.
Today the Southern Gas Corridor is among the European Commission's priority energy projects, which aims at the diversification of the EU gas supply sources and routes.
The project project envisages transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe 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.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the 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.