EU to Double Gas Imports from Azerbaijan by 2027, Signs New Deal

The European Union, which seeks non-Russian suppliers after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, signed an agreement on Monday to double gas imports from Azerbaijan.

Ever since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February, the natural gas supplies have been used as a weapon between Russia and Europe so the European Commission has repeatedly stressed that the diversification of the energy imports is a priority for the EU amid Moscow’s continued weaponization of its energy supplies.

The Memorandum of Understanding on a strategic partnership in the field of energy was signed in Baku by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Ilham Aliyev, the president of the energy-rich Caspian nation.

Speaking at the news conference alongside Aliyev, von der Leyen said that from next year on, the EU should reach 12 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan with an aim to double the supply of gas from Azerbaijan to compensate for cuts in supplies of Russian gas.

She pointed out that the EU was turning to more reliable suppliers since the Russian gas supplies to Europe were not reliable even before the war in Ukraine.

Azerbaijan sent to Europe 8.1bcm of natural gas in 2021.

Noting that Azerbaijan has already increased gas deliveries to Europe, the EU’s energy commissioner, Kadri Simson, who traveled to Baku with von der Leyen, emphasized that the trend will continue with up to 4 bcm of additional gas this year, adding that volumes are expected to more than double by 2027.

In accordance with the commercial viability and market demand, the new deal will also enable the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor – which runs through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Greece – to provide at least 20 bcm annually by 2027.

Underscoring that the EU-Azerbaijan energy cooperation has already changed Europe’s energy map, President Aliyev praised the deal as a road map for the future.

It also offers a possibility for Azerbaijan to move away from overdependence on its role as a fossil fuel supplier by tapping into its vast potential in renewable energy – offshore wind and green hydrogen.

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