Baku offered Iraq to help to deliver Iraqi gas to Europe
Azerbaijan has offered Iraq an access to the South Gas Corridor, which will connect the countries near the Caspian Sea with the EU, to help Iraq with the natural gas deliveries to Europe, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
“Minister told journalists in the capital of Iraq Baghdad that the Iraqi officials have already expressed interest in joining the wide-scale project, which is supported by the USA,” Turkish Hurriyet news agency quoted France Press.
Mammadyarov said at a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshiyar Zibari in Baghdad that “this is a huge project and there is a possibility that Iraq is also interested in transporting its own natural gas via it.”
He also said that “any other countries, which have already expressed interest, including Iraq, could join the Southern Gas Corridor and we are ready to start negotiations.”
“Southern Gas Corridor” is the project to deliver Azerbaijani gas to Europe. The final investment agreement on development of the Phase 2 of Azerbaijani offshore gas condensate field Shah Deniz was signed in December 2013. From the Shah-Deniz gas will be delivered to the European markets. Within the Shah Deniz Phase 2 gas will be exported to Turkey and the European markets by expanding of the South Caucasian gas pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum) and construction of the trans Anadolu (TANAP) and trans Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.
Iraq has huge natural gas resources, what the Nabucco project partners hoped for in the past time, but unstable situation in this country did not allow development of gas and its transportation.
Commenting on the statement of Azerbaijani Foreign Minister made in Baghdad, Caspian Barrel Centre for Oil Studies said that “TANAP project and its European continuation TAP is designed in way that by 2019 it will be ready for transportation of gas from the Shah-Deniz-2 field. This infrastructure will have no room for transportation of gas of the third parties.”
By 2024 it is planned to expand the pipeline system by maximum 10 billion cub.m. “However, if we track the statements of officials of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), by that period the country plans to put into operation such big fields as Absheron, Umid/Babak and deep-lying gas from Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli. Gas extracted from these fields will be transported to the West via TANAP and further. This means that the expanded infrastructure actually has no free volumes remained to be provided to other consignor of goods,” a source from the Caspian Barrel Centre said.
The Centre believes that the Azerbaijani officials could establish cooperation with the gas producing countries after the “peak production period” on the Caspian gas fields.—0-