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BAKU, June 1. /TASS/. Azerbaijan is unwilling to restrain its gas export operations to the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project and will be seeking new gas markets, the country’s President Ilham Aliyev said Wednesday.
"We don’t want to restrain our activities to the Southern Gas Corridor and want to enter new markets," he said, adding that the Republic of Azerbaijan has "sufficient gas reserves for doing that." According to President, Azerbaijan’s proven reserves top 2.6 trillion cubic meters of gas.
The Southern Gas Corridor is simultaneously an economic project and a safety project, he said, adding that "one cannot speak about countries’ national safety if energy safety is not ensured."
According to Aliyev, the implementation of the SGC project by Azerbaijan implies the country’s international cooperation. "We’re consistently advancing to the goal," he added.
The Southern Gas Corridor is a system of existing gas pipelines and those under construction, which, after the modernization, should link the European Union with the Caspian region. It includes the South Caucasus pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian pipeline and the Trans-Adriatic pipeline. The Southern Gas Corridor passes through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy. The offshore block Shah Deniz -2 in the Caspian Sea is considered to be the main source of gas for it. However, if the Trans-Caspian pipeline is incorporated into the project, an opportunity will emerge to transport the Turkmen gas along the Southern Gas Corridor. It is planned to export 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year through the pipeline, including 6 billion - in Turkey, 10 billion - in Europe.