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Azerbaijan starts gas exports to European market

Christian Fernsby |
Azerbaijan has started commercial natural gas supplies to Europe via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the energy ministry said on Thursday, beginning its push into the lucrative energy market dominated by Russia, reports.

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Russia controls 34% of Europe’s gas market and plans to raise gas exports to Europe, including Turkey, to 183 billion cubic metres (bcm) next year from the 171-172 bcm expected this year.

TAP is a part of the $40 billion Southern Gas Corridor, stretching 3,500 km from Azerbaijan to Europe and drawing from Azerbaijan’s giant Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea.

The project has the backing of the European Commission as part of efforts to curb Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.

Azerbaijan aims to supply European gas markets with 10 bcm of gas a year, including 8 bcm to Italy and a combined 2 bcm to Greece and Bulgaria. It has already supplied gas to Turkey.

“The Southern Gas Corridor will strengthen the system of global energy security. It has connected the Caspian region to Europe,” the energy ministry said in a statement.

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