Azerbaijan becomes a central energy partner of the European Union (EU) against the background of frequent unrests in the Middle Eastern countries supplying energy resources, Carl Hamilton, chairman for the European Affairs Committee at the Swedish Parliament believes.
Issues of energy security and supply of natural gas and oil from the major regions - suppliers will be main topics of the agenda at the forthcoming Brussels summit of European leaders, which will start on Thursday.
"The summit will be related to the issues of energy policy and security, the need to liberalize the European market. The Middle East becomes more unstable than ever, so in this context, the South Caucasus becomes a major energy partner," Hamilton told Trend.
According to him, recent developments in the northern countries of the African continent, mass public protests first in Tunisia, then in Egypt and Sudan probably will be spread on other countries, which play an important role in Europe's energy security. So supplies of natural gas and oil from the South Caucasus become more important. Azerbaijan in this term will become more crucial energy partner, Swedish MP believes.
Azerbaijan supplies its own light oil to world markets by several routes, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa and Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipelines. In 2010 the country exported about 45 million tons of oil of the total production at 51 million tons.
Today, Azerbaijan's role in providing gas supplies to Europe has increased significantly. Today, Azerbaijan is considered as one of the main gas suppliers for the Southern Energy Corridor, which is a priority EU energy project diversifying energy supply routes and sources and increasing EU energy security. The Southern Corridor includes the Nabucco gas pipeline, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), White Stream, and ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline).
The Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field is a major gas field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. From 2017, when Europe intends to begin receiving gas from this field, the total production amount at this field will be brought to almost 25 billion cubic meters per year, ten billion cubic meters of which are intended for export to Europe.
In addition, Azerbaijan is considered as the main route of transit of the Central Asian gas, primarily from Turkmenistan.