Energy supply diversification important for U.S.’s European allies

By: Aynur Jafarova

The diversification of the ways of supplying energy resources, in particular natural gas from the Caspian Sea is important for ensuring the energy security of the U.S.’s European allies. This remark was made by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on April 18 at the broad political forum titled “U.S. Competitiveness amid a Changing Natural Gas Landscape”.

He was discussing the strategic importance of the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan in ensuring energy security. “The U.S. government supports energy projects that serve this purpose,” Moniz said.

While delivering speech on “Changing energy security in the Trans-European and Eurasian region”, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the U.S. Elin Suleymanov informed the guests about Azerbaijan’s energy diplomacy, being a reliable partner in the energy market.

“The efficient use of existing energy reserves is based on a strategic approach,” the ambassador noted.

Suleymanov also spoke about the role of alternative sources and routes of energy supply in ensuring energy security.

He stressed the Southern Gas Corridor project, which is characterized as a project changing the geopolitical situation of Europe.

The gas to be produced at the second stage of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field development will be the main source of the Southern Gas Corridor, which envisages the transportation of the Caspian gas to the European markets.

The Shah Deniz consortium announced the selection of TAP as the main route for transporting its gas to Europe in late June. Another pipeline which was vying for Azerbaijan’s gas transportation to Europe was Nabucco West.

Azerbaijan agreed to sell over 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from the second phase of its Shah Deniz development to nine companies in the European Union in September 2013.

The contracts were signed for 25 years between SOCAR and the European utilities, including Axpo Trading AG, Bulgargaz EAD, Depa, Gas Natural Fenosa, Hera Trading Srl, Shell Energy Europe, Enel SpA, E.ON SE, and GDF Suez SA.

The initial capacity of TAP will amount to 10 billion cubic meters per annum with the possibility of expanding to 20 billion cubic meters per annum.

TAP’s shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (16 percent), Total (10 percent), E.ON (9 percent), and Axpo (5 percent).

The construction project of TAP is planned to start in 2015.