Azerbaijan’s oil and gas projects are the basis of security, stability and development in the region, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said.
He made the remarks at the opening of the 24th International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference and the 7th Caspian International Power and Alternative Energy Exhibition in Baku May 31.
President Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan's proven gas reserves stand at 2.6 trillion cubic meters.
Energy plays an important role in security, and energy security is a matter of national security, he said.
“If historical oil and gas pipelines were not constructed, Azerbaijan wouldn’t be able to export its resources to the world market,” said the president, stressing that Azerbaijan’s oil and gas projects are the basis of security, stability and development in the region.
“These projects have a significant impact on interstate relations. These pipelines are our wealth,” he added.
The Azerbaijani president noted that the second phase of the Shah Deniz project is being successfully implemented.
“The Southern Gas Corridor is expected to cost $40 billion and the vast majority of the work has been done. The Shah Deniz -2 project is fulfilled by 93%, TANAP by 70% and TAP by 42%,” he said.
The president reminded that the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Board held its next meeting in Baku this year.
“Azerbaijan is playing a leading role in this project. High-ranking officials from the Balkans, the US, the UK and the European Commission, which are our partners, took part in the meeting of the Advisory Council,” he said.
President Aliyev stressed the importance of diversifying oil and gas supplies.
“Diversification of routes and sources is of great importance. As for sources, Azerbaijan is the only new source for European countries,” he said. “Azerbaijan is a large and nearby source. What’s the most important is that the Azerbaijani state has a strong will and financial resources. If Azerbaijan didn’t invest in four projects within the framework of the Southern Gas Corridor, no investor would have invested.”
He said that the export of Azerbaijani gas to Europe has been the subject of discussion for 10 years, which yielded no results.
The president recalled that Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an agreement on the TANAP project in 2012.
President Aliyev expressed confidence that the Southern Gas Corridor will ensure the long-term development of Azerbaijan.
“The next project is the Absheron gas field. In parallel, Umid, Babek projects are being implemented. Production at these fields is expected in the coming years. Thanks to the infrastructure, the transit role of Azerbaijan is growing. Resources from the eastern part of the Caspian Sea are exported to the world market via Azerbaijan”, said the president concluding his speech.