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BAKU, March 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The European Union stands for the formation of a lasting and reliable southern gas corridor, head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan Roland Kobia said on Tuesday.
The formation of a reliable southern gas corridor would meet the strategic energy partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan; hence, the decision of Baku on the route for gas transportation to Europe anticipated within weeks should be based on the reciprocal strategic interests, he said.
Kobia recalled that the gas corridor idea gained support in the joint declaration of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso posted in January 2011.
In his words, the existent gas pipelines are unable to meet the ambitious plans of the delivery of Caspian gas to Europe. There is a need for new gas pipelines, he said, noting that the European Union wanted a lasting and reliable corridor, which would have neither jams nor delays. He also noted the importance of a larger capacity of the corridor.
Concerning the decision of Baku and Ankara to build the trans-Anatolian gas pipeline through Turkey with the annual capacity of 16 billion cubic meters, Kobia said that was just an idea, which had not developed into a particular project, and it would be impossible to estimate the pipeline parameters.
He thinks in general that any decisions regarding pipeline projects should not thwart the beginning of the second stage in the development of the Shah Deniz field planned for 2017. The world gas market is developing dynamically with due account of the enlarged deliveries of LNG, shale gas and alternative energy resources. It is high time for Azerbaijan to make a decision. The opportunity window may close later on, Kobia said.