Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.19
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The Southern Gas Corridor is a game changer for the European Union since it will deliver by 2020 for the first time gas coming from the Caspian Sea, the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
"In this sense, it opens a new supply route and helps the EU to diversify its gas sources in line with the EU Energy Security and Energy Union Strategies," he said.
The EU commissioner pointed out that the Southern Gas Corridor’s current capacity can technically still be expanded in future, which would allow the EU to still obtain additional gas from the Caspian region.
Oettinger went on to add that he sees the future of energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU very positive.
"The Southern Gas Corridor links Azerbaijan and the EU closely together. Azerbaijan and the EU already agreed on so-called Partnership Priorities. These priorities constitute an action program we want to implement jointly over the coming years. This list includes a strong energy focus. In addition, the EU is currently negotiating with Azerbaijan a so-called ‘enhanced Agreement’. This international agreement will put our joint relations, including on energy, on a new, solid and modern footing," he said.
The commissioner said Azerbaijan plays a lead role in the Southern Gas Corridor and the state-owned company SOCAR is very active both in this project, but also beyond.
"Due to its investments in the EU, the Western Balkans, and Turkey, SOCAR has a vocation to play an important role in the EU’s and neighboring energy markets in future. The EU markets are always open to foreign investment and competition in line with the EU’s regulatory framework," Oettinger concluded.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority projects for the EU and envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe.
The launching ceremony of the first stage of the Southern Gas Corridor was held in Baku on May 29, 2018, while opening ceremony of TANAP was held on June 12, 2018 in the Turkish city of Eskisehir.
The gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field has already gone through the first segment of the Southern Gas Corridor - from the Sangachal terminal to the expanded South Caucasus Pipeline.
Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) have been recently connected on the Turkish-Greek border.