The European Union expects an increase in Azerbaijani gas supplies this year, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said, Azernews reports. She made the remarks at a press conference of the Extraordinary Energy Council.
Simson recalled her visit to Azerbaijan last week with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“The President and I were in Azerbaijan just last week, where we agreed to more than double the gas volumes to the EU by 2027. And we expect to see an increase in 4 bcm extra already this year,” she said.
Moreover, she added that the EU have also agreements in place with the U.S., Canada, Norway, Egypt, and Israel, a long-standing partnership with Qatar, and deepening cooperation with Algeria.
“In addition, we are exploring the options to increase LNG imports from Nigeria. The country is already the fourth-biggest exporter to the EU, but has the potential to contribute even more,” she said.
“All the five regional groups within the EU Energy Platform have been launched and are looking into demand aggregation and coordinated use of infrastructure. And we are of course exploring the best legal and practical form for our joint purchase mechanism,” Simson added.
On July 18, Azerbaijan and the European Commission signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation in the energy sector. The document was signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The EU and Azerbaijan are in active dialogue on increasing gas supplies amid the energy crisis. The EU-Azerbaijan energy cooperation has reached a new level and is still ongoing within the framework of the Southern Gas Corridor. The EU places a high value on energy supply diversification, and the Southern Gas Corridor is particularly important in this regard.
To recall, with the completion of the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) construction on December 31, 2020, Azerbaijan began commercial gas supplies to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor. The SGCis an initiative of the European Commission for a natural gas supply route from the Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. The route from Azerbaijan to Europe consists of the South Caucasus Pipeline, TANAP, and TAP.
Last year, TAP transported 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. By late 2022, Azerbaijan plans to increase gas supplies to Europe to 9.1 billion cubic meters, and in 2023, the volume of gas supplies is expected to reach 11 billion cubic meters.