The Azerbaijan State News Agency

ECONOMY

Istanbul hosts Caspian Forum

Istanbul, December 5 (AZERTAC). The 3rd Caspian Forum has started in Istanbul, Turkey bringing together senior officials, representatives of companies and leading experts from 35 countries.

The Forum was organized by the Caspian Strategy Institute (HASEN) with the support of SOCAR, BP and TPAO companies.

The Forum began with the demonstration of a documentary on extraction and transportation of hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian region.

Opening the event, HASEN Secretary General Haldun Yavash stressed the importance of the Forum. He said discussions during the Forum would play a constructive role in regional energy and communication projects.

Head of the Socio-Political Affairs Department at Azerbaijan`s Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov read out a congratulatory letter of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to the event participants. President Ilham Aliyev`s congratulatory letter underlines the importance of implementation of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) projects after realization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum energy projects. The Head of State says in the letter that Azerbaijan`s rapid economic development creates opportunities for realization of grand project in the region and stresses the importance of the Forum.

Then a congratulatory letter of Turkish President Abdullah Gul was read out. The letter says that the TANAP project will be backbone for the Southern gas corridor.

Delivering a speech at the opening ceremony, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz hailed the roles of Turkey and Azerbaijan in implementation of the Southern gas corridor. The minister said Turkey plans to import 50-52bn cubic meter gas next year, adding that all villages would be supplied with natural gas in the near future.

Delivering a speech on “Transportation corridor of the Caspian region: Revival of the Great Silk Road”, Azerbaijani minister of transportation Ziya Mammadov said that the Silk Road strategy had been revived by the communication projects in which Azerbaijan took an active part. He noted that implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project is a practical result of cooperation between Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

"After the start of the Marmaray project, launching the BTK will establish direct transport links between Europe and Asia," Mammadov said.

Addressing the event Deputy Minister of Georgian Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Mikeladze, Slovenian Minister of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Samo Omerzel, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States Halil Akэncэ and Romanian Secretary of State of Transport Marian Buica spoke about the significance of the regional transportation projects.

In his speech SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev hailed the importance of TANAP as a provider of the mutual trust between Azerbaijan and Europe. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso signed a Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Southern Gas Corridor in 2011. The European Union has identified a number of partner countries for this initiative, such as Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Egypt and Mashreq countries. Uzbekistan and Iran should represent, when political conditions permit, a further significant supply source for the EU. Also the Trans Adriatic Pipeline is identified as a Southern Corridor project. Together, the Southern Corridor projects could provide the necessary transportation capacity to deliver the 60 to 120 billion cubic metres per year of Caspian and Central Asian gas that the European Commission aims to bring directly to Europe.

“Initially the Southern Corridor will deliver up to 10 billion cubic metres a year (BCMA) of Shah Deniz natural gas to European markets. Azerbaijan’s gas exports will increase dramatically as fields like ACG Deep, Absheron, Umid and Shafag-Asiman are developed, and we see the pipeline route towards Austria as a natural market for this gas. The development planning of both pipeline routes lays the foundation for future growth and we appreciate the support of the European Commission throughout this process,” Abdullayev added.

Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov said that signed in 1994 the “Contract of the century” paved the wide way to signing of new agreements in Azerbaijan. Owing to realization of the oil strategy, Azerbaijan ensured its energy security and representation as very reliable country and partner in international community.

“National leader Heydar Aliyev prepared a long term oil strategy program in order to properly direct increasing oil revenues to state economy. At the next stage of oil strategy, it was extremely important to efficiently manage accumulated oil revenues generated from the development of country’s oil fields jointly with foreign companies and to assign these assets to the development of advanced areas and implement projects of social-economic importance. To that end, State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established by the Decree of Heydar Aliyev in 1999. Now, SOFAZ makes investments on the important energy projects as TANAP,” Movsumov added.

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz, Albanian Minister of Energy and Industry Damian Gjiknuri, Georgian Deputy Energy Minister Mariam Valishvili, BP's Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gordon Birrell, Deputy General Manager at Turkish Botas company Said Arinc, and Italian Director of the Institute of International Political Science Paolo Magri underlined the significant role of the Southern Gas Corridor and other energy projects implemented by Azerbaijan in ensuring the European energy security.

At the end of the forum awards were presented to laureates of “Caspian Awards”.

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