Baku eyes More Balkan Gas Clients
Azerbaijani energy minister Natig Aliyev says Bulgaria will be able to import gas from the Shah Deniz field through the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), which will link to the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), in 2020.
During a meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolay Pavlov Feb.22, Aliyev also said that 1bn m3/yr of Shah Deniz gas can be supplied to Bulgaria and construction of Bulgaria-Serbia gas grid interconnector, expected to be commenced by May 2019 can transport Azerbaijani gas to the wider area.
Montenegro and Croatia by 2020 should also be able in a position to receive some Shah Deniz gas by around 2020 as well as Bulgaria, added Aliyev. The final capacity of the IGB is 3bn m3/yr.
Azerbaijan energy minister Natiq Aliyev (Photo credit: World Economic Forum, Norbert Schiller)
Previously, Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliyev had said during Munich Security Conference, held Feb 17-19, that currently SGC can access seven countries, but the number can reach ten soon.
According to Bulgaria’s energy ministry, Azerbaijani state-run oil company Socar is among the bidders for IGB capacity. Bulgaria plans to receive gas from Shah Deniz 2 project in the Caspian from 2020, when exports to Europe start.
The SGC project is aimed to transit 16bn m3/yr of Shah Deniz 2 gas to Turkey (6bn m3/yr) and Europe initially. However the final capacity of the project is two times more than that. It passes through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy.
When BP announced firm gas sales agreements for Shah Deniz gas in 2013, Bulgargaz was a buyer for around 1bn m3/yr once supplies begin.