ECONOMY

EU seeks more natural gas from Azerbaijan, says commissioner

EU seeks more natural gas from Azerbaijan, says commissioner

The European Union is seeking more natural gas from Azerbaijan, an EU official said Friday, as Europe grapples with high energy bills and tight deliveries from Russia, its main supplier of fuel, which has been at loggerheads with the West over Ukraine.

European Union Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson has traveled to energy-rich Azerbaijan amid Europe’s efforts to secure gas from various sources other than Russia and draw up contingency plans in case of disruptions to gas supply.

Simson told a news briefing in the Azeri capital of Baku, that the EU is hoping for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), that goes through Greece too, to boost gas exports to Europe from Azerbaijan.

She said the EU was hoping for TAP to increase its exporting capacity to 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year from around 8 bcm now. TAP transported more than 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan into Europe last year, of which 6.8 bcm total had been carried into Italy. It is the final leg of a $40 billion project named the Southern Gas Corridor.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said yesterday the country exported 19 bcm of gas last year, including 8.5 bcm to Turkey. The rest was shipped to Italy, Georgia, Greece and Bulgaria. [Reuters]