Central Asian countries could benefit from joining the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project to supply gas to Europe, Professor Jonathan Stern, distinguished research fellow at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, told Trend.
They could benefit if they sell gas profitably in Europe ie that the price they receive exceeds the cost of producing and transporting their gas to EU countries and give them a significant profit margin, he added.
The European Council has said in its conclusions on the EU Strategy for Central Asia that the EU will continue to seek to extend the Southern Gas Corridor to Central Asia, and to further promote the EU's multilateral and bilateral energy cooperation.
Azerbaijan is ready to make additional investments, increase the capacity of the pipeline, build additional gas compressor stations, but the country needs guarantees in the form of long-term contracts of the potential exporters with the buyer-countries in Europe.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline.