Breakthrough in EU gas supply

Joint Declaration with Azerbaijan guarantees the Southern Gas Corridor

Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jose Man­u­el Bar­ro­so and EU Ener­gy Com­mis­sion­er Guen­ther Oet­ting­er made a strong start in Baku, the first stop­o­ver in their Cas­pi­an tour.

Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jose Man­u­el Bar­ro­so and EU Ener­gy Com­mis­sion­er Guen­ther Oet­ting­er made a strong start in Baku, the first stop­o­ver in their Cas­pi­an tour. Pres­i­dent Bar­ro­so and Azer­bai­jan's Pres­i­dent Ilham Ali­y­ev signed a joint dec­la­ra­tion on nat­u­ral gas sup­ply from Baku to Europe. In exchange for ensur­ing sub­stan­tial vol­umes of gas to the EU, Azer­bai­jan will get guar­an­teed access to Euro­pe­an mar­kets. Sour­ces in the Com­mis­sion reveal the dec­la­ra­tion is and impor­tant step towards estab­lish­ment of the Sout­hern Gas Cor­ri­dor and diver­si­fi­ca­tion of ener­gy sup­plies to Europe.
This is a major break­through, Pres­i­dent Bar­ro­so under­scored add­ing the agree­ment secures Europe's direct access to nat­u­ral gas from the Cas­pi­an basin, which ena­bles real­i­sa­tion of the South­ern Cor­ri­dor. This new sup­ply route will enhance the ener­gy secu­ri­ty of Euro­pe­an con­sum­ers and busi­ness­es, he stressed.
With gas imports climb­ing over the com­ing dec­ades, the EU needs new sup­pli­er nations and Azer­bai­jan is among the most favoured in addi­tion to our estab­lished part­ners, the Ener­gy Com­mis­sion­er Oet­ting­er said.
The South­ern Cor­ri­dor pro­vides for con­struc­tion of sev­er­al gas pipe­line fall­ing back on Cas­pi­an gas sup­plies. One of them is Nabuc­co pipe­line project (Tur­key-Bul­gar­ia-Roma­nia-Hun­ga­ry-Aus­tria) planned to bring 31 bcm per year of nat­u­ral gas from Cen­tral Asia / South Cau­ca­sus / Mid­dle East to the EU. Accord­ing to the plans, con­struc­tion of the pipe­line is sched­uled to start this year and the first vol­umes of nat­u­ral gas will flow in 2014. the oth­er route is Inter­con­nect­or Tur­key-Greece-Ita­ly (ITGI), which, like Nabuc­co, is backed by the EC. The oth­er pro­jects are White Stream and TAP (a project to con­nect Alba­nia and Ita­ly). Nabuc­co is designed to sup­ply gas to EU bor­ders using a brand new pipe­line while TAP and ITGI require exist­ing infra­struc­ture for­ti­fi­ca­tion in non-EU nations. The South­ern Cor­ri­dor involves Tur­key as a key trans­it coun­try.
The Baku doc­u­ment reit­er­ates the spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance of the Baku-Tbil­i­si-Cey­han oil pipe­line and the Baku-Tbil­i­si-Erzu­rum gas pipe­line for trans­por­ta­tion of ener­gy resour­ces from Azer­bai­jan and oth­er Cas­pi­an coun­tries. Both par­ties con­firmed the impor­tance of EU-Azer­bai­jan ener­gy rela­tions enshrined in the Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing of Novem­ber 2006, its pro­vi­sions signed two years lat­er and in the ener­gy dec­la­ra­tion of the Pra­gue Sum­mit in May 2009.
This first writ­ten doc­u­ment for gas sup­plies from Baku to the EU, sets out the com­mon objec­tive is to see the South­ern Cor­ri­dor estab­lished and oper­a­tion­al as soon as pos­si­ble and to estab­lish the Repub­lic of Azer­bai­jan as a sub­stan­tial con­trib­u­tor to it. Trans­por­ta­tion, mar­ket­ing and allo­ca­tion of the gas pro­duced in Azer­bai­jan will entail no dis­crim­i­na­to­ry legal, reg­u­la­to­ry or trade con­di­tions. Mean­while, days ahead of the vis­it, the con­sor­ti­um run­ning Nabuc­co - the most com­pet­i­tive project in the South­ern Gas Cor­ri­dor - wel­comed Bar­ro­so and Oet­ting­er to Azer­bai­jan and Turk­men­is­tan in a spe­cial state­ment for the media ezpress­ing its sup­port for the EU offi­cials ini­ti­a­tive to pro­mote the project. Nabuc­co Gas Pipe­line Inter­na­tion­al points out 2011 is a par­a­mount year for Nabuc­co because of the deci­sions which will affect future EU ener­gy sup­plies. The con­sor­ti­um backs the efforts of EU insti­tu­tions to bol­ster the dia­logue and coop­er­a­tion with Cen­tral Asian coun­tries and believes par­tic­u­lar eco­nom­ic pro­jects such as Nabuc­co will bring clos­er the two regions.
Accord­ing to observ­ers, the upcom­ing stop­o­ver at Turk­men­is­tan hides more unknowns, but the good start made in Baku gives hope­ful prospects for the South­ern Cor­ri­dor and Europe.

Similar articles

  • ECB vows to spur the EU economy

    ECB vows to spur the EU economy

    The European Central Bank expressed its intention to protect and boost EU economy. ECB noted that it is committed to enforce further and stronger stimulus packages, aimed at supporting the single currency and the European economies, bank’s board member Fabio Panetta told Reuters.

  • Mastercard faces a £14bn law suit in UK

    Mastercard faces a £14bn law suit in UK

    The Supreme court of the United kingdom gave a green light for a multi billion law suit against Mastercard. The court's ruling was the last hurdle for the go-ahead for this first mass consumer claim of its kinds, Reuters reported.

  • ECB throws another €500bn to counter Covid-19 impact

    ECB throws another €500bn to counter Covid-19 impact

    The European Central Bank decided to disburse another 500m euro to offset negative impact on European economies caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision comes just ahead of Christmas shopping madness and amid rising number of people infected with the virus across Europe. ECB on Thursday decided to raise its ongoing bond purchase stimulus by 500bn euro, to 185tn from 1.35tn, and to extend the support programme until at least March 2022 instead of the current earliest end date of mid 2021, AP reported.