Azerbaijan in talks with new European gas buyers amid energy crisis
After a sharp rise in fuel prices worldwide, new potential buyers of natural gas from Europe turned to Azerbaijan, Energy Minister of Azerbaijan Parviz Shahbazov told Bloomberg.
He said that governments and companies in the east and south of Europe have expressed interest in buying gas from Azerbaijan.
"Gas prices have skyrocketed this year as limited flows from Russia have exacerbated supply problems, and Europe is entering winter with the lowest inventory levels in at least a decade. We keep in touch with existing and potential buyers. The likelihood of concluding new sales contracts in the future is quite high," Shahbazov said.
He also noted that Azerbaijan began exporting gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz field through the Southern Gas Corridor worth $33 billion in December 2020.
“This connects the Caspian Sea region with Italy, and at the same time, the country also sells gas to neighboring Georgia and Turkey,” the minister added.
According to the minister, supplies to Italy, Greece and Bulgaria this year will reach almost 6.5 billion cubic meters, and in 2022 they will grow to 10 billion cubic meters. It is noted that these gas exports are based on contracts signed in 2013.
Shahbazov added that Azerbaijan needs new sales agreements before investing in an increase of production. New opportunities for gas supplies will be discussed early next year at the annual meeting of the Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor, a platform that brings together companies and governments from about 20 countries.
In addition, he said that potential development projects include, among other things, the Shafag-Asiman field.
“Depending on European demand, Azerbaijan may also support the Trans-Caspian pipeline to export Turkmen gas to the west. This requires new contracts between buyers and sellers,” the minister concluded.