Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Romanian are jointly launching a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, designated as the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector (AGRI). The three governments regard their project as an element in the EU-planned Southern Corridor for Caspian gas to Europe.
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romania signed a memorandum on cooperation in gas sphere in Bucharest, SOCAR Representation in Romania said .
Turkey and Azerbaijan have proven unable to conclude their negotiations on natural gas cooperation, which have been in progress for over one year. Turkish-Azeri gas talks include several issues involving the revision of the price Turkey pays for its imports from Shah Deniz-I, the determination of the volume and price for its imports from Shah Deniz-II, and agreement on the volume and conditions for the transit of Azeri exports to Europe through Turkish territory.
Azerbaijan’s ongoing dispute with Turkey about transit terms and revenues for natural gas heading to Europe across Anatolia, as well as uncertainties about the Nabucco pipeline project, have compelled highest-level officials at Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) to publically consider the option of exporting hydrocarbons eastward, potentially to China and other East Asian markets. However, as Baku would have to surmount significant hurdles to make that proposition a reality, it remains to be seen whether a reorientation of Azerbaijan’s energy posture is in the cards, or whether this is just rhetoric to spur the development of Western-oriented projects.
On October 14 in Baku, Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company president Rovnag Abdullayev and Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller signed an agreement on Azerbaijani gas exports to Russia. The move is a logical follow-up to the June 29 agreement, signed by the same company chiefs –in the presence of Presidents Ilham Alyiev and Dmitry Medvedev in Baku on that occasion– on the main principles of the gas trade between the two countries.
Turkmenistan’s pledge to take Azerbaijan to court over the two countries’ rival claims to Caspian Sea oil fields has sparked more confusion than anger in Baku. Some Azerbaijani experts even believe that an international arbitration hearing could prove the best way to resolve a long-standing energy dispute.