EU & WBs / Albania Energy Investment Updates

EU & WBs / Albania Energy Investment Updates

Presentation of Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC

ACERC is a think tank centre with focus on the Albania energy market and its integration in the regional IEM. The Acerc mission base on the in-depth knowledge of EU and regional energy law and policy and strives to provide a qualified contribution to the promotion of the liberalization and effective integration as well as efficient use of energy resources.

main activities briefly consists in build-up collaborations and supports to market players in study researches such as the certificate reports, articles and periodicals. The transfer of high expertise through building-up institutional capacities by national and regional training courses, seminars and conferences. The institutional representation and integration within framework of the forum of Albanian School of Regulation.

For more visit us at the Official Website of Acerc | Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn

Southern Gas Corridor scores historic milestone 17 FEBRUARY 2015

AEI Updates February 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Fri, February 20, 2015 00:32:50
Southern Gas Corridor scores historic milestone

17 FEBRUARY 2015

By Gulgiz Dadashova

The Southern Gas Corridor, net energy export route from the Caspian region, has gained more credibility after hot discussions at the Baku meeting of its Advisory Council, where it was named as a sole new gas supply source to Europe.

Azerbaijan has emerged as a geopolitical player and an insurer of European energy security without any rival as was declared "to be and will be one of the main objectives in the years ahead”.

The parties to the project voiced commitment to make this ambitious plan a reality and announced the route as a core of the strategic energy partnership with Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan’s gas produced in the Caspian Sea will, in the coming years, be the only new gas source for the European consumers,” President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting.

Ankara reassured the EU, saying in Baku that the country is determined both politically and economically about the Southern Gas Corridor. “The $45 billion Southern Gas Corridor is one of the most significant projects for the supply of natural gas to European Union countries,” Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said.

With wonderful profile of a reliable partner, Azerbaijan has positioned itself as a trusted energy partner to the West and complied with its obligations in all major projects.

Azerbaijan’s strategic significance in the east-west supply chain increased with the rise of natural gas on Azerbaijan’s offshore lands and changed the core drivers behind the Southern Gas Corridor initiative.

Azerbaijan’s firm stance and wise energy policy breathed life into the Southern Gas Corridor, which later become a relief for European politicians’ gas supply puzzle that become more difficult over the last year due to the protracted conflict in the Middle East and in Ukraine.

Diversified energy sources and transportation routes in the region, meets the interests of main buyers of oil and gas of Azerbaijan, as well as interests of the whole European continent.

President Ilham Aliyev noted that the diversification of routes is important, however, when the source remains the same, the situation doesn’t change very much, adding that the diversification of sources is important.

The Southern Gas Corridor, a key project of the country's energy diversification policy, is the only westward route for exporting hydrocarbons from the Caspian with prospects of covering other “blue energy” sources.

The Southern Gas Corridor will help Europe to achieve its own strategic objective, that is, to diversify supplies of natural gas, said Matthew Bryza, the former deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan, former US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, and director of International Centre for Defense and Security in Tallinn.

“New Southern Gas Corridor is a highway which will expand significantly, helping Europe to achieve its own strategic objective – to diversify supplies of natural gas,” he told in an interview with Trend during "This week in focus" program.

No time to lose

As European countries are too dependent on fuel and gas imports, one of the key objectives of the EU strategy is to keep its energy market open to countries outside the EU.

Maros Sefcovic, EU Commission Vice-President for Energy Union following the Baku meeting said, the EU is extremely tired to worry every summer about energy supplies for the coming winter, adding that energy security issues are controlled by top political leaders.

“The Southern Gas Corridor is the only project which guarantees major gas supplies from new source, TASS reported citing Sefcovic. “This is the largest project with the estimated cost of implementation at 45 billion euros.”

Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) and a senior adviser to the United States Energy Security Council, also shared the views.

Korin said as long as Europe is intent on diversifying its gas supply away from Russia, Azerbaijani gas will remain a very attractive option.

“Azerbaijan, with its very significant gas reserves and its track record, would be a reliable source of supply expansion for Europe. Certainly the Ukraine situation increases the urgency, appeal of, and support for the Southern Corridor option,” she wrote in an e-mail to AzerNews.

Korin further explained that European options for supply diversification vary from North American LNG to supply from the East Med and of course Central Asia and - less attractive due to the volatile nature of the region - MENA.

“Currently, there is the less likely option that Europe will become more flexible about welcoming options to natural gas itself for power generation for example by becoming less hostile toward coal and nuclear,” she said.

Speaking about any delays in the Southern Gas Corridor realization due to rivalry with possible routes, Korin noted a favorable period for the project.

“Russia's recent gas deals in China mark a shift in thinking away from reliance on the Europeans as the major customer, and this, coupled with Russia's backing away from the South Stream project, creates a much more positive outlook for the Southern Corridor option than previously.”

Hopes for more gas

Surviving in a severe rivalry for bringing gas to Europe, the Southern Gas Corridor faced doubts of some opponents who indicated less feasibility of the project due to small gas volumes.

The Southern Gas Corridor being touted as Europe’s solution to reduce energy dependency on an unreliable Russia has secured strong political backing and even financial support, and its participants pledged to ensure the security of the route, which cannot be said in relation to other proposed routes.

The only downsize of the route could be named the volume of the gas it can deliver, but the potential to double its capacity and other Caspian’s countries rush to join the route minimizes this side effect. Even if there would not be any other source, Azerbaijan’s proven gas reserves exceeding 2.5 trillion cubic meters can be enough guarantee for the project realization.

The Southern Gas Corridor has the potential to meet up to 20 percent of the EU’s gas needs in the future, with potential supplies from the Caspian Region, the Middle East, and the East Mediterranean in the longer term.

Edward Chow, a senior fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, said that there is no other readily available new gas from the region at this point.

“All the parties must concentrate on executing the agreements they have already made. There is a risk that some of the parties may be distracted by other developments,” Chow wrote in an e-mail to AzerNews.

He believes what is critical at this point is to proceed with the successful implementation of the long-planned Shah Deniz II gas field development and the TANAP/TAP pipeline projects to bring additional gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey and Europe.

“If the current Southern Corridor projects are successful, they can pave the way for other gas down the road to fulfill the corridor's full potential. If these projects are delayed because of distractions or desire to revise existing agreements, then the opportunity will be lost and it will even jeopardize the future of other gas developments in the region that could supply Europe,” Chow emphasized.

Following the Baku meeting, Sefcovic said that Europe considers doubling (up to $20 billion cubic meters per year) of purchase volumes of gas on the Southern Gas Corridor.

The other Caspian states, including Turkmenistan which has repeatedly voiced westward export intention, can join the route.

The proven and probable gas reserve in the Caspian Sea exceeds 8 trillion cubic meters, according to EIA estimations.

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Working group to be created as part of master plan for Albania’s gas supply 18 FEBRUARY 2015

AEI Updates February 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Thu, February 19, 2015 22:01:57
Working group to be created as part of master plan for Albania’s gas supply

18 FEBRUARY 2015

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.18

By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:

Azerbaijan and Albania have reached an agreement on creating a special working group to work out the feasibility study of the master plan for Albania’s gas supply, a message posted on the official website of Azerbaijani State Oil Company (SOCAR) said.

Albania is one of the European countries that will get Azerbaijani gas within the Southern Gas Corridor.

The feasibility study of the master plan for Albania’s gas supply was broadly discussed during a meeting between SOCAR delegation and the representatives of the Albanian government in Tirana on Feb.17, according to the message.

“Following the meeting, the sides agreed to create a special working group for the implementation of the feasibility study of the master plan,” the message from SOCAR said.

The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the European Commission, Energy Community Secretariat, the consortium for construction of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP), BP, WBIF and national companies.

During the meeting, Albanian Minister of Energy and Industry Damian Gjiknuri praised Azerbaijan’s role in the development of the Southern Gas Corridor project that will strengthen the relations between the two countries and SOCAR’s active support in the implementation of the master plan for Albania’s gas supply.

“The creation of a gas network in Albania will allow to expand the gas network of the Balkan region,” he said.

Murad Heydarov, the advisor to SOCAR’s president, for his part, said that Albania plays an important role in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project in South-Eastern Europe and in the Balkan Peninsula.

“Azerbaijani government intends to make a contribution to the development of Albania’s gas market,” said Heydarov.

He added that the governments of the two countries closely cooperate both within the TAP project and within other projects providing access to the alternative gas supply sources.

The next meeting on Albania’s gas supply will be held in April 2015.

SOCAR expressed interest in 2014 to participate in the process of supplying gas to Albania. The company already has experience in organizing supply and management of gas distribution networks in Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Azerbaijan and Albania signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2014 on cooperation in the development of a master plan for gas supply to Albania.

SOCAR’s high-ranking representative said in January 2015 that the company is preparing to study investment opportunities in Albania.

Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. This project is aimed at diversification of routes and sources of energy supply and thereby increase EU’s energy security.

The Southern Gas Corridor envisages the delivery of gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas condensate field to Europe.

A final investment decision was made on December 17, 2013 on the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field's development. The gas produced at this field will first go to the European market (10 billion cubic meters), while six billion cubic meters of gas will be annually delivered to Turkey.

As part of the second stage of the field’s development, gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.

The first gas within the Shah Deniz-2 project will be delivered to Turkey in 2018 and to Europe in 2019.

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

Follow us on Twitter @TRENDNewsAgency

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