BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7
By Khagan Isayev - Trend:
The gas swap deal signed in Ashgabat among Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Iran does not cover any commercial interests yet, Azerbaijani expert in energy issues Ilham Shaban told Trend on Dec. 7.
Shaban added that this deal is political in nature as no commercial agreements have been reached on the basis of the deal.
“Any trade agreement is important in relations among the countries because everything begins from trade,” the expert said. “From ancient period up till now, the relations among the countries are assessed by the volume of trade operations.”
Shaban said that the commercial structures of the sides are currently holding the talks, that’s why they have not made any statements to the public on this issue yet.
“If such an agreement is signed, some questions, namely, gas import volume to be required by Azerbaijan in 2022 and the purposes of using the imported gas, will arise,” the expert said. “According to the official statistics, Azerbaijan has stopped importing gas since 2018. The gas production in Azerbaijan has shown such annual growth rates since the beginning of the Shah Deniz-2 project implementation that is not observed in any country having gas reserves.”
Shaban added that every year gas production in Azerbaijan is increasing by 20 percent, 25 percent, and more, which means that Azerbaijan does not need to purchase additional volumes of gas.
Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan signed a gas swap deal in Ashgabat on November 28.
According to the document, up to 1.5-2 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas will be supplied to Azerbaijan through Iran per year. Swap supplies of the Turkmen gas to Azerbaijan through Iran will begin on December 22, 2021. The trilateral deal will provide five Iranian provinces with gas.