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Azerbaijan Boosts Natural Gas Exports to Europe

Azerbaijan raised its natural gas exports to Europe by 12% year-over-year in the first half of 2024, sending 6.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of its gas to European customers, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Energy, Parviz Shahbazov, said in a post on X on Thursday. 

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the severely diminished Russian pipeline gas supply to Europe, Azerbaijan has emerged as one alternative source for the EU to get more non-Russian gas.  

In January to June, 6.4 bcm of Azerbaijan’s gas was exported to Europe, accounting for 51% of all Azeri gas exports, according to Azerbaijan’s energy ministry data. Exports to Turkey, at 5 bcm, represented 39% of the country’s gas sales abroad, and the exports to Georgia of 1.3 bcm made up the remaining 10%. 

Total Azeri natural gas sales abroad rose by about 6% in January to June 2024 compared to the same period last year, the minister said. 

The Absheron gas and condensate field, which TotalEnergies and its joint venture partner SOCAR started up in July 2023, produced more than 1.5 bcm of gas during a year for the early production scheme (EPS) phase. 

“The plans of developing the Absheron field in stages and increasing the annual production from 1.5 bcm to 6 bcm are significant contributions to the energy security of our country, as well as of our regional and European partners,” Shahbazov said.

Before the war in Ukraine, Russia supplied around one-third of all the gas to Europe. Currently, Europe’s single biggest source of pipeline gas is Norway, which not an EU member state, but a staunch ally of the bloc and a founding member of NATO. 

Last year, Gazprom’s pipeline gas exports to Europe slumped by 55.6% compared to 2022.  

As a result, Gazprom booked its first annual net loss in 23 years, signaling a significant shift in financial performance attributed to dwindling gas shipments to Europe and pricing pressures.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova

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