Azerbaijan plans to export 19 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas in 2022, upgrading its initial plans and targeting to fulfil European demand, President Ilham Aliyev said.
Gas prices in Europe soared to record highs recently, adding to already high inflationary pressure, and remained at elevated levels as for days a pipeline that usually sends gas from Russia to Europe was working in a reverse mode.
“The volume of Azeri gas is not that large but can play a decisive role for a number of countries,” Aliyev said, according to the presidential website.
Azerbaijan has started commercial gas supplies to Europe via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in late 2020, aiming to supply 10 bcm of gas a year and pushing into the lucrative energy market dominated by Russia.
Analysts have said Azeri gas is unlikely to change Russia’s dominant position in Europe, but that it still poses some threat to Moscow’s share of the region’s gas market.
Aliyev said more than 8 bcm will be channelled to Turkey and more than 7 bcm to Italy, while the rest of gas export volumes will be distributed among Bulgaria, Georgia and Greece.
The president also said that Azerbaijan is in a position to supply natural gas to other countries without naming the possible consumers.
Azeri gas output will reach 45 bcm in 2022, up from 43 bcm expected earlier, part of which is for domestic needs and also to be pumped into oil deposits to sustain required pressure there, according to Aliyev.
“This is a large volume and will definitely allow us to fulfil our own needs and to also enter the European space in even larger volumes.”
(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Photo – File photo of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. EPA-EFE/TOLGA BOZOGLU