22 Sep 2022 15:45

Azerbaijan to boost gas exports to Europe 40% in 2022 to 11.5 bcm - Energy Ministry

BAKU. Sept 22 (Interfax) - Azerbaijan will increase gas supplies to Europe 40% in 2022 compared to 2021 to 11.5 billion cubic meters, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said.

Shahbazov took part in the Romanian International Gas Conference 5th Edition: Bridge To The Future on Thursday, speaking at a ministerial meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and a ministerial panel called From Vision to Reality. Shahbazov spoke on Azerbaijan's contribution to diversifying supply sources, which will balance energy markets with the goal of eliminating the energy crisis.

"In less than two years [starting December 31, 2020], more than 16 bcm of gas have been supplied to Europe from Azerbaijan. Supplies of gas from Azerbaijan to Europe will increase 40% in 2022 from 8.2 bcm to 11.5 bcm. This points to the Southern Gas Corridor operating at maximum capacity, as well as to uninterrupted and stable supplies," Shahbazov was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the Azerbaijani Energy Ministry.

Expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor over the next five years will be "the next step in ensuring energy security," Shahbazov said. Investments to increase the throughput capacity of pipelines and investments in gas production are needed along with the conclusion of contracts and implementation of technical measures in order to double exports of natural gas from Azerbaijan to 20 bcm, he said.

"The quickest possible implementation of this project is of common interest to us. The memorandum of understanding on strategic partnership in the sphere of energy signed between Azerbaijan and the European Union in July 2022 is a decisive step in our joint work and provides a needed political guarantee. We believe that, thanks to joint political will, increased volumes of Azerbaijani natural gas will enter Europe at a decisive moment for energy security, 2027," Shahbazov said.

Azerbaijan also has plans to use renewable energy sources and hydrogen in the process of diversifying energy supplies to Europe in the long term, he said.

"The minister emphasized in connection with this the importance of the Georgian-Romanian submarine cable project in the Black Sea to transfer wind power from the Caspian Sea to Europe and create a green energy corridor. Shahbazov added that Azerbaijan will be a reliable partner in green energy, and these new cooperation priorities will take the energy partnership with Romania to a new level," the press release said.

Supplies of Azerbaijani gas began running through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, part of the Southern Gas Corridor, to consumers in Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria on December 31, 2020. The pipeline was designed to transport 10 bcm of natural gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz field per year as part of Stage 2 of its development. Its throughput capacity can be doubled to 20 bcm per year.

Azerbaijan exported 8.2 bcm of gas to Europe in 2021. Exports of Azerbaijani gas are to total 23-24 bcm on the whole in 2022, compared to 22 bcm in 2021.