Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 4 / Trend A.Badalova/
Selling gas as much as possible in the Balkan countries is a priority for the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), the company's Vice-President on marketing and investments Elshad Nasirov said in interview to New Europe.
"For SOCAR this is a priority - to sell gas as much as possible in the Balkan countries - first of all because these countries expressed their desire to buy gas," Nasirov said.
The second reason, according to Nasirov, is that Balkan countries are closer to the production side - Azerbaijan.
"For the producer of gas any country, any company that is closer to the production site is potentially the preferential buyer since the transportation costs are lower to the countries closer to the production," Nasirov said.
Talking about the selection between Nabucco West and Trasn Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Nasirov said that there is not any preference for the European pipeline, adding that the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan and the country's government do not interfere in the process of selection of the pipeline.
"First of all because the Production Sharing Agreement clearly says that the shareholders and the investors have full right to make their own decision. Secondly, we don't want to be accused of pushing if there are any mistakes made during the selection process. So we need that process to be transparent and commercial," Nasirov said.
Currently, the consortium developing Shah Deniz is considering two variants for its gas transportation to Europe - TAP and Nabucco West.
The final decision on the pipeline route will be made in June, 2013.
Azerbaijan plans to export 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe within the second stage of Shah Deniz gas condensate filed development.