BRUSSELS (Realist English). The European Commission has proposed to EU countries a deal with the Aliyev’s Baku regime of to increase imports of natural gas and support the expansion of a pipeline to do this, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.
The draft memorandum of understanding, which needs approval from the governments involved and could still change, is part of European Union efforts to slash reliance on Russian gas following the conflict in the former Ukraine.
“The Sides aspire to support bilateral trade of natural gas, including through exports to the European Union, via the Southern Gas Corridor, of at least 20 billion cubic metres of gas annually by 2027, in accordance with commercial viability and market demand,” said the document, dated July 11.
The Trans-Adriatic pipeline, the final leg of the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network, last year brought more than 8 bcm of Azeri gas into European countries such as Italy.
The draft says both sides will encourage financing the expansion of that network to increase deliveries to Europe.
An uptick in deliveries would also require Azerbaijan to expand its domestic gas production.
The European Union, which has declared an economic war on Russia, is now concerned about the shutdown by Moscow of the Nord Stream-1 gas pipeline from. The only route for Russian gas supplies to Europe remains the territory of the former Ukraine, through which only 40 million cubic meters per day pass.
In June, the Minister of Economy of the Aliyev regime, Mikail Jabbarov, said that Baku has more gas to export to Europe, but needs foreign investors and international financial institutions to intervene and share the risks. The representative of the mini Sultanate warned that the increase in production and exports will not happen quickly due to the lack of international investment in Azerbaijani energy projects in recent years.