BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 7. The Washington Post daily newspaper has published an article on the threat that Iran poses to major energy projects in the South Caucasus, and, thus, Azerbaijan's growing plans on energy exports to Europe, Trend reports.
"After Azerbaijan triumphed in a 44-day war with Armenia in 2020, it reclaimed districts along a 130-kilometer (81-mile) stretch of its border with Iran that Armenians had occupied since the 1990s. It also regained part of the main highway linking Iran to Armenia, a critical trade route to the Black Sea and Russia. Tehran reacted angrily when Azerbaijan imposed a heavy tax on Iranian trucks carrying goods to Armenia, effectively paralyzing trade between them and jeopardizing Iran’s access to markets farther away," the authors said.
According to the article, in 2021, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) held large-scale military drills near the border with Azerbaijan.
"bp and its partners have invested more than $70 billion in Azerbaijan’s energy development and transportation projects since 1994. The projects include a 1,768-kilometer oil pipeline connecting Caspian Sea output with Türkiye’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Azerbaijan also helped build 3,500 kilometers (2,174 miles) of natural gas pipelines to Europe via Georgia and Türkiye," the Washington Post authors noted.
Meanwhile, Southern Gas Corridor started transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe on December 31, 2020. It transports gas from the Caspian Sea region to European countries through Georgia and Türkiye.
This large-scale project is aimed at the diversification of energy supply routes and sources, thereby contributing to strengthening Europe’s energy security. The project’s cost totaled $33 billion, as compared to the forecast of $45 billion. Capital expenditures on the SGC project are expected to be fully reimbursed within 8-10 years.
In July 2022 Azerbaijan and EU agreed to double the volume of gas transportation from Azerbaijan from 10 billion cubic meters to 20 billion cubic meters per year by 2027.