SOCAR deputy Vice President highlights importance of Southern Gas Corridor project

Baku, May 28. AZERTAC

Deputy Vice President of Azerbaijan`s state oil firm, SOCAR, Vitaly Baylarbayov has highlighted the significance of Southern Gas Corridor project as he was interviewed by Belgian EurActiv portal. “The Southern Gas Corridor is not at all a project aimed at our promotion. It is not a political project, it is strictly a commercial project. We are realising the project with our international partners. You can see from this map, the respective companies are from Asia, from Europe, from the Western world and from the world that we call Oriental. There is also a Russian company, Lukoil, which is a shareholder in the Shah Deniz 2 gas field, there is an Iranian company, NICO, the British company BP, Petronas from Malaysia and (the) Turkish TPAO.

The project has been prepared over many years. The final investment decision was taken in December 2013, and the gas supply contracts that were signed are also very long-term, up to 25 years. We succeeded because we were able to convince our European partners that Azerbaijan is a partner to be trusted. The contracts are binding, on the one hand regarding supplies, on the other side regarding purchase, and also on our side, the guarantee of transportation.”

He said: “We also have been a reliable gas supplier to Turkey over the years, and this too has helped build our reputation. The Southern Gas Corridor is not just a set of signed agreements, it’s about billions of dollars already being invested. We already committed to investing in the offshore Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea and in the pipelines on the territory of Azerbaijan and Georgia 12 billion dollars. These are contractual obligations already materialised. This is money that is already in use. 30% of the work that needs to be completed in the Caspian, in Azerbaijan and in Georgia is already done.”

Baylarbayov said: “We undertook commitments with our clients in Europe, and our clients committed to us. If we gave up, there would be penalties; we are speaking of billions.

This is a project which continues to develop dynamically and we, those who have worked so far, will continue to help it grow further.”

“The future of this corridor is interesting enough, and is linked to the diversification of gas sources. New sources of gas are the Absheron offshore gas field, where the investors are Total and Gaz de France. And Azerbaijani fields Inam and Babek will have investors who are not yet determined. This is diversification at the scale of Azerbaijan. It could add at least an additional 10 billion of cubic metres of gas per year (bcm/y) to the Corridor,” he added.

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