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Azerbaijan Plans To Boost Gas Exports To Europe

Azerbaijan has plans to increase natural gas exports to Europe next year, according to the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev.

"Export of gas [to Europe] reached 8.2 billion cubic meters last year and 11.3 billion cubic meters this year and is expected to be about at least 11.6 billion cubic meters next year," Aliyev said, as quoted by Russia’s Interfax.

"It is a win-win situation, because Europe needs to strengthen its energy security, and Azerbaijan needs a reliable market to sell the tremendous amount of its energy sources," the Azeri president also said.

In total, Azerbaijan aims to export 24 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2023, with 11.6 billion cubic meters going to Europe.

Aliyev was speaking at a gathering in Romania, where Azerbaijan, Romania, Hungary, and Georgia sealed a deal for the construction of a new power connector from the Central Asian country to Europe. At the same gathering, Azerbaijan’s state oil and gas company also inked deals for the supply of natural gas to Romania.

Europe is actively looking for new sources of natural gas amid its sanction crusade against Russia to which Russia responded by reducing the flow of gas to the continent, where Russian gas until this year accounted for 40 percent of supply.

This year, in the period from January to November, Europe imported 10.3 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas. Turkey imported 7.6 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas, the Azeri energy minister said, with the country's gas exports in the first 11 months of the year being 19 percent higher than last year’s.

Azerbaijan is one option for Europe to replace Russian gas, but it would need to considerably increase its production if it wants to make a difference to the European Union’s energy security: Russia’s gas exports to the bloc last year amounted to some 150 billion cubic meters.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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