Greece and Azerbaijan Sign Agreement on Oil and Gas Co-operation
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend I.Khalilova / Greece and Azerbaijan have signed, in Athens, a protocol of cooperation to strengthen broader economic and trade relations between the two countries, Greek press reports.
The protocol was signed within the first meeting of the Azerbaijani-Greek Inter-Governmental Commission for Economic co-operation which took place in Greece. The Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and Azeri Economic Development Minister Hayder Babayev, who signed the protocol, made a special reference to the Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline that will transmit Azeri natural gas to Western Europe and will be inaugurated in the next few months by the Greek and Turkish prime ministers.
"This pipeline is the application in practice of the main energy policy of the European Union, which is also Greece's policy, for the diversification of energy sources, routes and forms," said Stylianidis.
Referring to the two countries' cooperation, he said that Azerbaijan could become a reliable oil supplier and possibly a natural gas supplier if the quantities required are secured. Babayev described the cooperation possibilities between the two countries as "endless", adding that Greece's stance is responsible in helping with the consolidation of cooperation in the energy sector.
He also met with the Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, who proposed to Babayev the signing of a four-party interstate agreement between Greece, Turkey, Italy and Azerbaijan on all the details of the natural gas pipeline. Sioufas also proposed the signing of a Greek-Azeri agreement on oil and natural gas cooperation.
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) has already highlighted its plans to transport its gas to Greece this year. The SOCAR President, Rovnak Abdullayev, said that according to the contract between Turkey and Greece, nearly 800 mln cu.m of gas will be transported to Greece this year. SOCAR has expressed its wish to transport half of this volume to Greece.
According to the contract between Turkey and Greece, the cost of the gas is $149 per 1,000 cu.m.