(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 28. The importance of
the Southern Gas Corridor for the security of supply for Europe is
more than ever before, Romanian Minister of Energy Virgil-Daniel
Popescu, who was on a visit to Azerbaijan, said in an exclusive
interview with Trend .
“Azerbaijan plays a major role is ensuring the supply security
of Europe. All eyes in Europe are now on Azerbaijan, there are
talks with Azerbaijani government in this regard,” said the
Popescu noted that Romania is one of the countries least exposed
to Russian fossil fuel dependence.
“We have a total consumption of 11 billion cubic meters of
natural gas per year. We have been producing 8 billion cubic meters
per year and now we have started offshore production in the Black
Sea, which adds 1 billion cubic meters. We still need to import 2
billion cubic meters, so we have to find a solution. Azerbaijani
gas is one of possible solutions for us, we hope to reach an
agreement with the Azerbaijani government. If it is possible, we
want to import the whole volume of our gas needs from Azerbaijan.
We are in negotiations and when we finish, we will announce it. But
we are on the right track,” he explained.
The minister also talked about different ways of getting access
to Azerbaijani gas.
“Two years ago, we were thinking that we don't have any chance
to have energy supply sources other than Russia and we developed
the Reverse Flow Project on the Trans-Balkan Corridor that was
constructed for supplying gas from Russia, Ukraine, Romania,
Bulgaria and Turkey. Last year we finalized our reverse flow
modifications and now we have a corridor that can bring in and out
from Romania gas from Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine. From Turkey we can
bring gas from Azerbaijan and from liquified natural gas (LNG)
terminals. So, we have inter-Balkan corridor. The Vertical Corridor
that was meant to be finished six years ago, is expected to the
completed this summer. The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB),
which should be completed in July, will give access to Romania to
the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), Trans Adriatic
Pipeline (TAP). BRUA pipeline (Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and
Austria) is another corridor that can bring gas from the Southern
Gas Corridor, the Vertical Corridor to Romania, Moldova and the
rest of Europe,” he added.
Moreover, Popescu noted that Romania imports 70 percent of its
total oil consumption, with more than half accounting for
“The rest is imported from Russia and we have to find a solution
to import it from other sources,” the minister said.
More opportunities for SOCAR in Romania
“During my first visit to Azerbaijan I mentioned that Romanian
government wants Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR to be more
involved in investing in Romania. SOCAR has a network of 67 petrol
stations in Romania. But I think we can do more together. We're
looking at investments in gas-to-power projects. SOCAR can be an
electricity supplier in Romanian market, it can trade fertilizers,
create joint ventures with Romanian companies to produce green
energy, fertilizers. So, we invite SOCAR to be more active and we
support any investment of Azerbaijani companies in Romania,” said
Green Corridor between Caspian Sea and Black
The minister recalled that during his visit to Azerbaijan
earlier this year, there were talks about a green bridge between
the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
“We call it a Green Corridor, as we want to connect the offshore
wind farms of the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea with a submarine
cable from Georgia to Romania. It can facilitate the export of
green energy from Romania to the rest of Europe, since there is a
great demand for energy in Europe now. This is a very interesting
project between Azerbaijan, Romania and Georgia and many other
countries also want to join it,” Popescu concluded.
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