Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 17
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Romania offers Azerbaijan new projects on energy cooperation and expects expansion of the activities of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR in Romania, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Romania Farid Abdinbayov said in an interview with Trend.
"The government of Romania believes that the activities of SOCAR in this country shouldn’t be limited to gas filling stations and offers Azerbaijan to consider participation in other projects as well, in particular in the spheres of oil refining, petrochemistry, energy resources exploration, creation of stations for refueling with liquefied natural gas, etc."
According to the diplomat, at present, SOCAR Petroleum SA is carrying out large-scale projects in Romania.
"As a result of the company’s activity, energy cooperation between our countries has changed significantly," Abdinbayov said. "Today, there are 37 gas filling stations under the SOCAR brand in Romania, and they employ about 500 people."
"Today, implementation of concrete measures is underway within the framework of bilateral documents signed between Azerbaijan and Romania in the field of energy, in particular, on the transportation of Azerbaijani energy sources to Romania," the diplomat noted. "We are closely following the energy policy pursued by Romania in the Black Sea region, and we regularly send analytical information to the relevant structures of Azerbaijan."
"In general, the processes taking place in the Eastern European region and the tensions observed between the EU and Russia, led to a crisis in the energy sector," he added. "In this context, Romania seeks to use alternative sources of energy to fully meet the needs of the country. According to the information as of late 2016, Romania is able to fully meet its demand for natural gas."
The ambassador went on to add that as a result of the activities of SOCAR Petroleum SA in Romania, energy cooperation between the two countries is expanding, at the same time, the Romanian companies are actively participating in the implementation of energy projects in Azerbaijan.
"Romania’s Transgaz company engaged in gas production and transportation, and Azerbaijan’s SOCAR agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of energy," the diplomat said. "We hope that in the future, these relations will be continued on the basis of concrete projects."
It should be noted that earlier, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the two companies.
The MOU between SOCAR and Transgaz envisages strengthening cooperation in the gas transportation, studying opportunities to use Romania’s potential in the gas transit and distribution at the expense of gas supplies from Azerbaijan, the Caspian region and other promising directions, jointly studying the possibilities of cooperation in the supply and trading of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Romanian market on the basis of long-term contracts and spot trading as part of the AGRI (Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector) project.
The MOU will also give an opportunity to deepen cooperation between the two countries’ companies and to expand their activities in the gas market of Southeast Europe and the Balkan region.
According to the diplomat, efforts are also being made to determine the future fate of the project for the creation of the AGRI gas pipeline system and its financing.
He recalled that in June 2015, Bucharest hosted a meeting of the energy ministers of the AGRI project’s member countries. The ministers discussed the position of the participating countries, the final results of the project’s feasibility study and the possibility of financing, and proposed to include it in the list of the EU Projects of Common Interests for financing. The ministers also adopted a joint declaration, in which they supported the development of the AGRI project as an additional component of the Southern Gas Corridor project, and this will largely contribute to the energy security of Europe.
AGRI project envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to the Black Sea coast of Georgia via gas pipelines. Azerbaijani gas delivered to Georgia's Black Sea coast will be liquefied at a special terminal and following this, it will be delivered in tankers to a terminal at the Romanian port of Constanta.
Further, it will be brought to the gaseous state and sent via Romanian gas infrastructure for meeting the demands of Romania and other European countries.
The participants of the AGRI project are SOCAR, Georgia's Oil and Gas Corporation, as well as MVM (Hungary) and Romgaz (Romania).
The parties established the SC AGRI LNG Project Company SRL in February 2011 for the implementation of the project.