Brussels, 13 January 2011
Commission and Azerbaijan sign strategic gas deal
The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev today have signed a Joint Declaration on gas delivery for Europe in Baku. Azerbaijan commits to supplying substantial volumes of gas over the long term to the European Union, while Europe provides access to its market for them. This Joint Declaration is an important step in the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor and the diversification of Europe's energy supplies.
Commission President Barroso said: "This is a major breakthrough. This agreement confirms Europe's direct access to gas from the Caspian basin, thus enabling the realization of the Southern Corridor. This new supply route will enhance the energy security of European consumers and businesses."
Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger said: "As gas imports increase in the decades to come, we need new supplier countries, Azerbaijan foremost amongst them, in addition to our established partners."
In the declaration, Azerbaijan and the Commission establish a common objective: Azerbaijan will provide sufficient gas to enable the creation of the Southern Corridor. Together, Europe and Azerbaijan will provide the infrastructure to supply gas to Europe.
The Southern corridor entails the construction of several pipelines, such as Nabucco, ITGI, White Stream and TAP, aiming to bring gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe. Nabucco aims to bring gas to the border of Europe with a brand new pipeline, whereas TAP and ITGI requires the strengthening of existing infrastructure in non-EU countries.
In the next months, Azerbaijan will make a further decision on which of these pipelines to prioritize.
This is the first written commitment of Azerbaijan to supply gas to Europe. After visiting Azerbaijan, President Barroso and Commissioner Oettinger will travel to Turkmenistan to discuss political and energy issues.
Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the Southern Corridor: