Azerbaijan is doing everything in its power to supply gas to Romania, but there are at least 10 European countries that are now demanding gas from the Caspian state, said Parviz Shahbazov, the Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan, present on Thursday in Bucharest at the Romanian International Gas Conference, where he participated in a panel discussion with his counterparts from eight other countries in the region: Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Greece and Turkey.
Asked by Romanian journalists if his country is willing to deliver gas to Romania in the near future, the Azerbaijani minister said: “We are conducting discussions with representatives from Romania. We are trying to do everything we can, but it takes time. There are certain organizational criteria related to gas transit, transport. We are undergoing a negotiation process, we have a strategic partnership with Romania and we are doing our best, but we have at least 10 countries in Europe that are asking us for gas and we are doing everything we can”.
According to him, his country is preparing to increase gas deliveries to the EU.
“Last year we supplied the EU with 8.2 billion cubic meters, and this year we increased the amount by 40%. We want to double the amount of Azerbaijani natural gas to supply the European Union in the next five years. Our goal is to supply a lot more gas to our partners who are already receiving and to expand our deliveries to new regions, from the south of Europe, to the west of the Balkans,” said the Azerbaijani minister.
Shahbazov showed that although quick decisions are needed, things cannot be done overnight.
“Something like this cannot happen overnight, inter-governmental consultations are needed and we still need to make appropriate investment decisions. We need contracts, commitments on the consumption and production side. This whole package must be implemented as soon as possible because we don’t have much time at our disposal,” he added.
“For us, Romania is an important partner in the field of the oil and petroleum products field. We have a network of 68 gas stations owned by the state company [SOCAR – ed.n.], in 24 regions of Romania. Now, Romania will become part of the new project of expansion of the southern gas corridor, not only to receive gas, but also as a potential transit route. With the help of BRUA, Romania can become an important player in the region,” added the official from Azerbaijan.