Azerbaijan’s SOCAR seals pact for new supply route to Europe

Azerbaijan’s SOCAR seals pact for new supply route to Europe

The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) on Tuesday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary for the supply of additional gas to Europe, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.

Ministers from the five countries signed the agreement at a ceremony in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, which was also attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev.

The Azerbaijani presidency said additional Azerbaijani gas will be supplied through the upgraded transmission network systems of the four EU countries under the “Solidarity Ring” initiative.

Aliyev said the deal was an important step in diversifying energy resources in the region.

“This project made it possible to expand Azerbaijan’s national gas supply in Europe, and is already helping strengthen Europe’s energy security,” Aliyev said.

Noting that Azerbaijan delivered eight billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to Europe in 2021, Aliyev said Baku’s target this year is to reach 12 bcm and the agreement would pave the way for additional gas exports to many more European countries.

“Today, Azerbaijani gas is exported to Georgia, Türkiye, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, and starting from this year Romania. By the end of this year, if all necessary interconnectors are in place, we plan to start gas supplies to Hungary and Slovakia,” Aliyev added.

He said Azerbaijan has strategic partnership agreements with nine EU countries, adding that the country is also ready to continue cooperation with partner countries and “achieve all goals together.”

Aliyev also held a one-on-one meeting with Radev, during which they discussed bilateral ties and political and economic cooperation.