Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.21
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The Southern Gas Corridor project is the old dream of Europe, which could come to fruition very soon now, Cyril Widdershoven, a Middle East geopolitical specialist and energy analyst, a partner at Dutch risk consultancy VEROCY and SVP MEA-Risk, told Trend.
He noted that the project will change Europe’s energy map mainly in the way that it provides additional stability to the overall energy system of the European Union.
"It will open up a more environmentally friendly energy source to the Balkan region, and possibly all of Eastern Europe. Azerbaijan option is an old dream that could come to fruition very soon now. It also links Europe more to its own Hinterland, which is the Central Asian and Caspian Sea regions," said the expert.
Widdershoven believes that diversification of supplies is not always providing security of supply, if the partner is not trustworthy or can change its geopolitical alliances. For Azerbaijan, this risk is seen as very low, he added.
"Looking at the still continuing political-economic conflict with Europe's main gas supplier, Russia, and the possible constrictions on oil and gas production in the Netherlands (holding Europe's largest onshore gas field) and Norway (going to diversify and block possible expansion of gas and oil operations), a need for additional suppliers is clear. Azerbaijan, as has been historically proven, is the main option," said the expert.
Widdershoven noted that the Southern Gas Corridor will ensure diversification of supplies, in addition to Russia, Norway and the Netherlands.
"It is also looking at primary supplies going to a still non-gas based region in the European Union, which is the Balkan Area. As EU Commissioner of Energy Union Maros Sefcovic stated, it is of the utmost importance to open up new energy supplies to the Balkans, while trying to push or counter possible coal fired projects," he added.
The expert said that even if Europe is going for a more green energy environment, gas will be the main choice of energy, not only during the transition phase to a green CO2 neutral economy, but also as a backup for electricity production in future.
"Gas is a low CO2 energy source, much cleaner than coal or oil," said the expert.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian 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, 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.
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