Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 12
The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project does not seek to compete with gas projects in Europe involving Gazprom, all pipelines will be in demand against the background of growing demand for energy, Vitaly Beglyarbekov, Deputy Vice-President for Investments and Marketing of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) said during his visit to Washington.
"We have been cooperating with Gazprom and other Russian companies for many years – the LUKOIL company has been mentioned many times. We have excellent relations with Rosneft company. You [in Russia] have a lot of Azerbaijani oil workers, and not only oil workers. And this is a great and solid basis for good relations", RIA Novosti quoted Beglyarbekov as saying.
The top manager of SOCAR noted that Gazprom is already present in the markets in which the SOCAR operates or intends to operate, adding that "and none of the contracts that we have concluded, has in any way affected the contracts concluded by Gazprom."
Therefore, he noted, "all the comments stating that one project interferes with another is an absolute lie." "Another thing is that it is, of course, the market – it's the business. We must take into account what they [Gazprom] are doing, they must take into account what we are doing. But I do not see anything unnatural in the relations that have developed between our companies and countries," Beglyarbekov added.
He said that in the future it will be possible to talk about the goal of gas supplies in the amount of 25-30 billion cubic meters per year, despite the fact that Gazprom supplies about 200 billion cubic meters of gas per year in the European direction, and the volume is constantly growing.
"Yes, there is no competition. And we are constantly trying to explain to everyone – we have sold our gas. The customers have bought it. The prices have been determined. There is no competition as such. Gazprom has its own niche, we have our own niche. The demand is growing all the time. Only by 2020, the pipeline will supply 25-30 billion cubic meters of gas in different directions, starting with Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan also consumes gas. Georgia consumes gas, Turkey consumes gas... I cannot tell you how this proportion will change by 2020. But the fact is that we did not have any contradictions with Gazprom, and we do not want to have them in the future," Beglyarbekov said.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority projects for the EU, and it provides for the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe.
On May 29, Baku hosted the launch ceremony of the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor project, and on June 12, the opening ceremony of TANAP pipeline was held in the Turkish province of Eskisehir with the participation of the presidents of Azerbaijan - Ilham Aliyev, Turkey - Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ukraine - Petro Poroshenko and Serbia - Alexander Vucic.
Thus, the first gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field coming out of the Sangachal terminal expanded for Shah Deniz-2 project and passing through the expanded South Caucasus Gas Pipeline, has already gone through the first segment of the Southern Gas Corridor. The next stage was the commissioning of the TANAP gas pipeline, through which the gas will enter the territory of Turkey and will pass on further to Europe.
The TANAP pipeline has been laid from the Georgian-Turkish border to the Western border of Turkey. The TANAP pipeline together with another – Trans-Adriatic - gas pipeline is part of the "Southern Gas Corridor" project, which provides for the transportation of gas from the Azerbaijani "Shah Deniz" field to Europe.
The initial capacity of the TANAP pipeline is expected to be 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year. About six billion cubic meters of gas will be supplied to Turkey, and the rest - to Europe. After the completion of the TAP pipeline, the gas will reach Europe approximately in the early 2020.