Southern Gas Corridor project unstoppable: SOCAR

Billions of dollars invested into Southern Gas Corridor, stopping such project impossible, says Deputy Vice President for Investments and Marketing at SOCAR

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Southern Gas Corridor project, brought to life with the partnership of international investors, is not a political project but a strictly commercial one which aims to diversify gas sources, said Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Deputy Vice President for Investments and Marketing at SOCAR in an interview with EurActiv.
Committed to investing 12 billion dollars in the project,  Baylarbayov stated that “contractual obligations have already materialised...30 percent of the work that needs to be completed in the region of Caspian, in Azerbaijan and in Georgia has already been completed, therefore, it is 'commercially unfeasible' to stop such a project," he said.
The Southern Gas Corridor is described as the “New Silk Road” of transport and energy links between Europe and the Caspian region.
“It is an important and strategic project for us, because it is able to diversify energy sources and energy direction," said Maros Shefchovich, European Commissioner for Energy.
Once the South Caucasus Pipeline, Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline are connected, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets.
Emphasising the long-term business perspective, Baylarbayov stated that the contracts were signed for up to 25 years, and no other country whether it be Russia, Norway or North Africa has managed to seal such a long term deal.
“We succeeded because we were able to convince our European partners that Azerbaijan is a partner to be trusted,” he said.
After aborting the South Stream pipeline last year amid objects from the European Union, Russia established the “‘Turkish Stream” project.  However, the project is seen as rather political in nature as it will enable Russia to bypass Ukraine through which passes from Russia nearly half the natural gas sold to Europe. The Southern Gas Corridor project is also thought by some to have political consequences as it has the possibility to shift Europe's energy dependence from Russia to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
Europe is expected to receive up to 10 billion cubic metres of Azerbaijani gas per year by 2020.

TRTWorld and agencies