Azerbaijan applies to transport its gas to Bulgaria

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 19

By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:

Azerbaijani company AGI (Azerbaijan Gas International), a 100-percent subsidiary of the country’s State Oil Company SOCAR, has applied to transport its gas via the IGB pipeline (Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria), head of SOCAR Balkan Murad Heydarov told reporters in Baku Sept. 19.

He said that the AGI participates in the auction, which is a binding stage of IGB project’s implementation.

"We plan to transport Azerbaijani gas via the IGB,” Heydarov said. “The Bulgargaz company, which has a contract with AGSC (Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company) for the supply of one billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Shah Deniz field per year, also participates in the binding stage. However, it is not Azerbaijan but Bulgargaz which will be participant of the IGB.”

“That is, the project will involve the companies, which have gas to transport through the pipeline,” he said. “We sell gas to Bulgargaz, which will become its transporter and which takes part in the binding stage. AGI participates in this stage with Azerbaijani gas, which is not related to the Shah Deniz field, and the company will act as a transporter.”

Heydarov didn’t specify the gas delivery dates and its concrete volumes. He added that not only the IGB project unites Azerbaijan and Bulgaria.

“Firstly, we consider Bulgaria an important member of the Southern Gas Corridor project, and later Bulgaria, as a transit country and a potential hub, can actively participate in the second stage of the Southern Gas Corridor project with neighboring countries via interconnectors,” he said.

“A presentation of conception of ​​the Balkan hub has recently taken place, and the role of Bulgaria in it, is unambiguous,” Heydarov noted. “Thus, Bulgaria is one of the key countries of the Southern Gas Corridor project. Azerbaijan is interested in the Balkan hub, since this hub is related to further expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor in the region.”

“We are one of potential users of this hub, but only specific members of the IGB project are its participants,” he added. “The concept of the gas hub is a huge number of projects involving European Commission, Bulgaria and other interested countries and companies. Azerbaijan is a part of the process of creating the Balkan hub, since the country is an initiator of the Southern Gas Corridor project.”

The Southern Gas Corridor 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. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.

IGB, which is expected to be connected to TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline), will allow Bulgaria to receive Azerbaijani gas. In early December, 2015, Bulgaria and Greece signed a final investment decision on the IGB project. The initial capacity of 182 kilometers length pipeline will be 3 billion cubic meters of gas.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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