The Southern Gas Corridor project will be implemented according to the schedule and will be completed in 2019, said Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev in an interview with Italy’s AGI news agency.
“I think the first gas to Turkey will arrive in 2019, and to Italy in 2020,” he said. “A lot will depend on the speed of solving some issues in Albania, Greece and Italy.”
“We have to obtain a lot of permits and construction licenses,” added the minister.
Aliyev also noted that gas reserves of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field, which is the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor, are enough for both domestic consumption and for exports.
Europe is the most reliable market for Azerbaijani gas, said the minister, adding that the European Commission, in turn, wants to diversify the sources and routes of gas supply.
He also said the Southern Gas Corridor will create about 40,000 jobs.
Ten billion cubic meters of gas will be transported via the Southern Gas Corridor annually, and the supply will increase to 16 billion cubic meters, six billion cubic meters of which will be supplied to Turkey, said Aliyev.
He noted that Azerbaijan has enough promising gas fields along with the Shah Deniz field.
“For example, reserves of the Absheron field reach 400 billion cubic meters,” the minister explained. “If the gas supplies to Europe are successful at the first stage, then we will increase the volume by using Azerbaijan’s other fields.”
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor project. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.