BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 21. The growing role and opportunities of Azerbaijan, which successfully hosts important events, the participants of which discuss global issues, in particular in the field of European energy security, are internationally recognized.
The IX Baku World Forum on “Challenges to the World Order”, held under the auspices of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, also attracted attention by organizing important discussions.
Various energy projects implemented by the country in recent years have laid the foundation for deepening international cooperation. These projects, based on the national interests of the country, have made Azerbaijan one of the main exporters and suppliers not only in the region, but also in Eurasia. Azerbaijan, which over the past 25 years has put into operation the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, Baku-Novorossiysk and Baku-Supsa oil and gas pipelines, has implemented such global projects as TANAP and TAP, which are important segments of the Southern Gas Corridor, is considered one of the major players in the energy market.
The country has successfully implemented a strategy for bringing natural gas to Western markets. The annual growth in the volume of natural gas exported to European countries confirms that our country is an important supplier of natural gas on the world market.
Speaking at the IX World Forum in Baku on “Challenges of the World Order”, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan’s energy resource needs are increasing.
“The situation in Europe has changed drastically. Therefore, the needs for Azerbaijani hydrocarbons are increasing, and we are trying to do everything we can to meet the growing demands of many countries. We have received, over the past two months, requests many European countries with regard to gas supply and, of course, it is not easy, because we have to produce it first and we had no intention of increasing gas production. Therefore, we are now working with the European Commission on this,” said the President.
The continuation of the armed conflict in Ukraine, the peak of tension in relations between Russia and the West and the mutual sanctions imposed not only sharply increased the prices of oil and gas on the world market, but also reinforced the trend to use natural energy resources as an instrument of geopolitical pressure. European countries are looking for alternative sources and exporters to get rid of energy dependence on Russia.
Witness the words of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a letter addressed to President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of the opening of the IX World Forum in Baku.
“We are now approaching the most intensive phase of two parallel reconfigurations of our energy supply. We must cut our ties with Russian fossil fuels. Alternative suppliers, like Azerbaijan, have a vital role to play,” the letter reads.
In addition to forum participants, in recent months heads of state and government of a number of European countries have also stressed the importance of cooperation with Azerbaijan in the energy sector. One of the main reasons for this is that the country is a reliable and stable trading partner, never uses rich oil and gas resources as a political tool, and prevents artificial price hikes.
The launch of the Southern Gas Corridor has further increased the attractiveness and strategic importance of Azerbaijan for Europe. The holding of ministerial meetings in Baku within the framework of the Advisory Council on the Southern Gas Corridor is due to the fact that Azerbaijan is the main initiator, investor and supplier of natural gas. The planned reserves of natural gas fields, which are currently in operation and will be ready for operation in the near future, amount to 2.6-3 trillion cubic meters. This creates a reliable guarantee that Azerbaijan will remain a reliable supplier of hydrocarbon resources for more than 100 years.
Regarding the capacity of TAP and TANAP, the CEO of the TANAP consortium, Saltuk Duzyol, noted that it could take almost five years to almost double the capacity of the pipeline to 31 billion cubic meters. At the first stage, this figure should be increased to 24, and at the second – to 31 billion cubic meters. Azerbaijan is negotiating with foreign partners to increase pipeline throughput.
In general, the serious support of EU countries to the measures taken by Azerbaijan to expand the export of energy resources expands its possibilities of receiving real political support in this geography and guaranteeing its strategic interests.