Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has stated that Azerbaijan has laid a solid foundation to double its gas supply to Europe and in the process, take Gazprom’s share.
President Ilham Aliyev announced that the capacity of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which supplies Southern Europe, will be doubled even without laying new pipes.
Azerbaijan plans to boost natural gas supplies this year and pump 16.2 billion cubic metres (bcm) via the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), mainly to Europe, and almost double its capacity in the future, the consortium’s head said on Wednesday.
“In 2021, our exports to the EU market exceeded 8 billion cubic meters, this year it will be at least 11.6 billion cubic meters.
“Very fast growth… The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the EU and Azerbaijan in the summer of 2022 stipulates that we will double our supplies by 2027. Thus, supplies to the EU will be at least 20 billion cubic meters. Total exports in 2023 will amount to 24 billion cubic meters.”President Ilham Aliyev
According to Aliyev, to increase the supply of Azerbaijani gas to the EU, it is necessary to construct more interconnectors in Europe. “For this purpose, there should be more interconnectors in Europe, and one of them was opened at the end of last year- the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector,” the Azerbaijani president said. “This allowed us to start deliveries to Bulgaria, and this year to Romania,” he stated.
The European Union said it was seeking more gas from Azerbaijan as Europe grapples with high energy bills and tight deliveries from Russia, its main supplier of fuel. Azerbaijan started exporting gas to Europe on Dec. 31, 2020. Currently, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania are the buyers of Azerbaijani gas in the EU.
EU Signs MoU with Azerbaijan
Meanwhile, plans for more gas from the Caspian Sea are taking shape. Currently, 8.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) flow annually from Azerbaijan to the EU; by 2027, this figure is to rise to 20 bcm. A corresponding memorandum of understanding was signed in Baku by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. Supplies via the southern gas corridor are to be increased to 12 bcm as early as this year, 2023.
“Today, with this new memorandum of understanding, we are opening a new chapter in our energy cooperation with Azerbaijan, a key partner in our efforts to move away from Russian fossil fuels,” Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said.
President Ursula von der Leyen explained that the European Union is seeking to double gas imports from Azerbaijan as it seeks non-Russian suppliers after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Azerbaijan is a crucial energy partner for us that has always been reliable,” Von der Leyen said at a joint news conference with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev following the signing ceremony in Baku, the Azeri capital.
The Azeri gas imports already increase to 12bcm next year, which “will help compensate for cuts in supplies of Russian gas and contribute significantly to Europe’s security of supply,” she added.
Aliyev stressed that issues of energy security today are more important than ever before. He added saying “Long-lasting, predictable, and very reliable cooperation between EU and Azerbaijan in the field of energy is a big asset.”
As a result of the war, Europe tried to distance itself from Russian oil. The measures against Moscow included Germany’s decision to halt the certification process of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which helped to drive gas prices, especially for future delivery, higher.