Azerbaijan inks deal for new gas supply route to Europe

Azerbaijan inks deal for new gas supply route to Europe

State-owned oil company SOCAR signs MoU with gas transmission system operators of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia in Sofia

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Azerbaijan’s state oil company (SOCAR) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the supply of additional gas to Europe with transmission system operators of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.

Ministers from the five countries signed the agreement at a ceremony in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, which was also attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev.

The Azerbaijani presidency said additional Azerbaijani gas will be supplied through the upgraded transmission network systems of the four EU countries under the initiative called the “Solidarity Ring.”

Aliyev said the deal was an important step in diversifying energy resources in the region.

“This project made it possible to expand Azerbaijan's national gas supply in Europe, and is already helping to strengthen Europe's energy security," Aliyev said.

Noting that Azerbaijan delivered eight billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to Europe in 2021, Aliyev said Baku’s target this year is to reach 12 bcm and the agreement would pave the way to export more gas to many more European countries.

“Today, Azerbaijani gas is exported to Georgia, Türkiye, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, and starting from this year Romania. By the end of this year, if all necessary interconnectors are in place, we plan to start gas supplies to Hungary and Slovakia,” Aliyev added.

He said Azerbaijan has strategic partnership agreements with nine EU countries, expressing that it is also ready to continue cooperation with partner countries and “achieve all goals together.”

Aliyev also held a one-on-one meeting with Radev, during which they discussed bilateral ties and political and economic cooperation.

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