By Aynur Karimova

Decreasing oil prices have affected the participants of the Southern Gas Corridor project, but it will not affect the implementation of this project.

This was announced by Michael Hilmer, the Vice President of the E.ON Global Commodities, at Azerbaijan and the Caspian: Oil and Gas Week – 2015 conference, in Baku on September 29.

He said that choosing the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project for the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe and adoption of the final investment decision on the Shah Deniz-2 project was “a prompt decision”.

“This decision has accelerated works on the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe. The current progress of the works makes it possible to say that everything is on the right track,” Hilmer noted.

The Southern Gas Corridor, aimed at diversifying energy supply to enhance Europe’s energy security, will connect the Trans-Anatolian and Trans-Adriatic pipelines.

At the initial stage, the gas, which will be produced as part of the second stage of development in Azerbaijan’s giant Shah Deniz field, will stand as the primary source for the Baku-initiated energy corridor.

As part of Stage 2 of Shah Deniz field’s development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of both the TANAP and TAP.

TAP is meant to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further to Western Europe. The pipeline’s total length is about 870 kilometers.

The construction of the pipeline is expected to start in 2016. TAP’s initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year.

The construction of TAP will not only provide European countries with Azerbaijani gas, but also pave the way for establishing a significant gas pipeline and infrastructure network in the region.

Azerbaijan, reliable EU partner in energy sector

In her remarks, Malena Mard, the head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan, said that Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of the EU in the energy sector.

“EU and Azerbaijan have broad, diversified relations. And we have strategic partnership in energy,” she noted.

“The Southern Gas Corridor is our key common project,” Mard said, adding that the implementation of this project is extremely important for the EU.

Mard also noted that the scaling up the Southern Gas Corridor is another important issue for the EU.

She mentioned the declaration on the development of cooperation in the field of energy among Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and EU, which was signed in Ashgabat a few months ago and added that the EU is ready for the multilateral consultations on the Trans Caspian gas pipeline.

She said that the EU is now concentrated on the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor. “But we have never hidden from anyone that we are interested in possible larger volumes. One possibility is that those larger volumes can even come from Azerbaijan.”

“Right now we are following very closely that the Southern Gas Corridor will be indeed implemented,” she said. “This is the largest energy project in the world right now. And we hope to see the first gas come to Europe in 2020.”