Azerbaijan becomes a critical element of Europe’s energy security

BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 5. During his two-day visit to Italy, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, in particular, delivered very important messages regarding energy security. Thus, in the speech of the head of the Azerbaijani state at the plenary session of the Cernobbio forum on the topic “Azerbaijan’s role in ensuring energy security”, it was not only about energy security of Europe, but also to solve more global problems and the expected problems in the energy sector.

Undoubtedly, the issue of energy security plays an important role in Azerbaijani-Italian relations. In terms of oil supplies from Italy, our country ranks first, gas – third. In 2021, approximately 7 billion cubic meters of gas were exported to the Italian market, representing the bulk of the export gas sent via the SGC. It is expected that in 2022 Azerbaijani gas exports to Italy, while maintaining the current rate, under long-term and spot contracts, will reach 10 billion cubic meters. Italy is very determined on the issue of the extension of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), which has been repeatedly stated by officials of this country. Earlier, in an interview with La Repubblica, the State Secretary of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Manlio Di Stefano, announced his country’s desire to increase the volume of natural gas imports through the TAP at 10 billion cubic meters per year. . Today, Azerbaijani gas passing through TAP supplies around 10% of Italy’s gas needs, but the volumes, as President Ilham Aliyev said at the forum, can be doubled.

Azerbaijani energy expert Ilham Shaban told Trend that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Italy is not only aimed at taking the growing political and economic relations between the two countries to a new level.

“So I would say that Baku’s official call for energy cooperation in the context of the energy crisis that Europe is facing in the current tense international military-political situation, especially in the context of the complete shutdown by Gazprom of gas exports to Europe via Nord Stream -1 was the highlight of the visit.In his speech at the 48th Cernobbio Forum (Forum di Cernobbio, Italy), organized annually by the European House – Center Ambrosetti analysis, President Ilham Aliyev said that close cooperation and coordination is important to meet the growing demand for energy in Europe,” the expert said.

As noted by Ilham Shaban, the head of state stressed that for this purpose Azerbaijan has already officially launched a dialogue with the European Union on energy, and this will include not only natural gas, but also other segments of the energy market, in particular electricity, hydrogen and green hydrogen.

“In addition, the President of Azerbaijan again drew the attention of the European public to the need to expand the TAP. Another point was President Ilham Aliyev’s statement that Azerbaijan has started practical negotiations on the expansion of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline. The President reminded that our share in TAP is only 20%. Other shareholders should also reach an agreement so that we plan an investment project together. The President of Azerbaijan also sent a message to Western buyers that there are no resource issues associated with the pipeline expansion, because the volume of proven gas reserves of Azerbaijan alone is 2.6 trillion The President also referred to Azerbaijan’s role in Italy’s energy security.The Head of State noted that since December 31, 2020, 13.5 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas have been exported to Europe, including 11.7 billion cubic meters to Italy, which is Italy’s share of Azerbaijan’s exports. Ijani gas to Europe is currently around 87%,” the expert said.

Ilham Shaban noted that in 2021 Azerbaijan exported 6.8 billion cubic meters of gas to Italy.

“According to the agreements on the purchase of gas by Italian companies with the Shah Deniz consortium, Azerbaijan’s obligations to this country are to supply 8 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Apparently, Italy wanted to buy additional volumes of gas to Azerbaijan due to the energy crisis in Europe, and Azerbaijan has responded positively to this request,” he concluded.

Thus, today Azerbaijan, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, opens up multilateral perspectives and defines new cooperation priorities that can prevent all threats to the energy security of Europe and the world.