Azerbaijan has promised to supply the European Union with substantial volumes of gas through the planned southern pipeline corridor that includes the Nabucco project, which would link the Caspian Sea to central Europe.
José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, and Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, today signed a declaration in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, which stated “our 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 – and enabler of – the southern gas corridor”.
Barroso called the declaration a “major breakthrough”. He said: “This agreement confirms Europe’s direct access to gas from the Caspian basin, thus enabling the realisation of the southern corridor. This new supply route will enhance the energy security of European consumers and businesses.”
The southern corridor project includes several pipeline projects. In addition to Nabucco, which entails the building of a new gas conduit through Anatolia, the ITGI, White Stream and TAP pipeline projects are also bidding to bring Caspian gas to western markets. Before the end of March, Azerbaijan will decide which one of the pipeline projects will gain access to gas from the second development phase of Shah Deniz, a major offshore field in the Caspian Sea.
Barroso and Günther Oettinger, the European commissioner for energy, will fly to Turkmenistan tomorrow for talks on energy with the country’s leadership.
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