EU, Ukraine need even more Azerbaijani gas - Baku ready to strengthen its partners' energy security

Oil&Gas Materials 18 June 2024 13:04 (UTC +04:00)
EU, Ukraine need even more Azerbaijani gas - Baku ready to strengthen its partners' energy security
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 18. The EU and Ukraine need even more Azerbaijani gas, and Baku is ready to strengthen the energy security of its partners, Trend reports.

Energy security and diversification of energy supply sources are among the key priorities of the EU, especially in the context of growing demand and geopolitical instability.

In this regard, Azerbaijan acts as an important partner, offering its significant natural gas reserves to meet Europe's energy needs.

Azerbaijan is exclusively focused on ensuring energy security and stability, operating within the requests and needs of its European partners.

As President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev stated at the opening of the 29th Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and the 12th Caspian Power Exhibition as part of Baku Energy Week on June 4, eight countries are receiving Azerbaijani gas.

"Azerbaijan already proved itself as a reliable partner. The European Commission at the regular Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor, which was held several months ago, named Azerbaijan as a pan-European gas supplier, and this is true. Six out of eight countries that are recipients of our natural gas are European countries. Of course, the geography of our supply will definitely grow. We are now in the active phase of negotiations with several more countries that need Azerbaijani gas in order to provide energy security.

As we've said many times, you cannot separate national security from energy security. The countries which depend on imports, of course, look for the most reliable and long-term partners and contracts. They find exactly that here in Azerbaijan. Our word has the same value as our signature. All the contracts, which have been signed during the last 30 years, have been implemented completely. All of them pass through parliament ratification and are then signed into law. So not a single word is changed. This is the trust you build for decades," the head of state said.

Azerbaijan has always expressed its readiness to lend a helping hand at the request of its European partners to contribute to the continent's energy security.

Europe is considering the possibility of supplying Azerbaijani gas through Ukraine.

Ukraine has announced that it will not extend the five-year agreement with Russia's Gazprom.

The former main recipients of gas through Ukraine are Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, and Moldova.

Austria still receives most of its gas through Ukraine, while other countries have diversified their sources and taken steps to reduce demand.

European officials and government representatives are negotiating with the Ukrainian side to extend the agreement on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to 2025.

One of the options under discussion is purchasing gas from Azerbaijan and transporting it through Russian pipelines via Ukraine.

These events have been accompanied by Western media speculation that the initiative allegedly comes from Azerbaijan.

However, in reality, Ukraine and the EU are actively promoting this plan.

Ukraine is interested in maintaining gas transit through its territory, which brings significant income and strengthens its position in the European energy system, while the EU is looking for ways to diversify gas supplies to avoid potential risks to energy security.

Stable gas supplies are vital for countries like Slovakia and Austria, as they risk remaining without sufficient volumes of gas if the transit agreement through Ukraine is not extended.

Purchasing gas from Azerbaijan and transporting it through Ukraine represents a strategic solution that will help avoid possible supply disruptions.

The idea of supplying Azerbaijani gas to Ukraine has a long history and has been discussed at various levels long before the current events.

In January 2020, at a meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, chaired by Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov and Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Kryklii, options for connecting Ukraine to the Southern Gas Corridor were discussed.

The Energy Ministry of Azerbaijan then pointed out that Ukraine is interested in diversifying routes and sources of natural gas supplies.

"Ukraine will be able to purchase gas from Azerbaijan within the framework of the second and third phases of the pipeline's capacity expansion. In addition, we are interested in expanding cooperation on crude oil supply issues and are ready to consider the possibility of LNG supplies from Azerbaijan to Ukraine," the ministry said.

Overall, when the idea of building the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) was born, the main goal was to diversify supplies by connecting European countries to the Caspian energy resources.

This infrastructure has proven its importance during the most challenging period of the energy crisis in Europe.

It is no coincidence that in July 2022, the EU signed a memorandum with Azerbaijan to double the capacity of the SGC.

The first steps in this direction have already been taken.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which is the European part of the SGC, will provide an additional 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas per year by December 31, 2025.

The system's annual capacity is expected to increase to 20 billion cubic meters by 2027.

The demand for Azerbaijani gas is rapidly growing in the context of Europe's acute energy crisis.

Azerbaijan always acts within the requests and needs of its European partners.

All gas supply activities are aimed at maintaining stability and ensuring Europe's energy security.

This is emphasized by numerous statements from Azerbaijani officials, who underscore the country's readiness to meet the growing needs of the European market.

Azerbaijan does not view its gas supplies as a tool for leverage or competition with other energy sources, but, on the contrary, the main goal is to ensure stability and security of energy supply for European countries.

Negotiations on extending the gas transit agreement through Ukraine and discussing options for purchasing gas from Azerbaijan highlight the complexity and multi-layered nature of modern European energy policy.

Despite various interpretations in Western media, the initiative to ensure additional gas supplies through Ukrainian pipelines comes from Ukraine and the EU, which seek to strengthen the region's energy security.

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