US Supports Expansion Of Southern Gas Corridor - Kimberly Harrington

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 1. The US certainly supports the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor, and certainly supports Azerbaijan and the EU agreeing to double gas exports and sees the Southern Gas Corridor as obviously foundational to achieving that goal, Kimberly D. Harrington, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Energy Resources of the US State Department, said in an exclusive interview with Trend , as she has visited Baku to take part in the 10th meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council.

"European energy security is only bolstered by diversification and bolstered by more routes, enhanced routes like the Southern Gas Corridor. We really want to make sure that our partners and allies are not subject to the weaponization of energy as we have seen. We've seen more interconnectors come online in Europe recently, including the interconnector Greece-Bulgaria by which Azerbaijani gas is flowing. The more Azerbaijani gas gets to more parts of Europe, the better as far as we're concerned. That connector is operating in an area where Russia had a near monopoly before. We'll continue to really support these efforts. And we think this expansion of Azerbaijani gas is going to make a difference for a lot of countries," she said.

The Bureau of Energy Resources serves at the nexus of energy security, decarbonization, and energy access for the State Department. One of our first projects that we really pushed, that was foundational to the creation of our bureau was the Southern Gas Corridor. We always say that Azerbaijan is in the DNA of our bureau, and it truly is. Now between the ministerial and Azerbaijan hosting COP, these two foundational goals are centered here in Baku. It's really delightful to be here. The US government is very proud of the role that it had for over a decade in supporting the Southern Gas Corridor and, of course, its final stages of becoming fully operational in 2020," she said.

Harrington noted that she was at Sangachal, and saw the pipeline, which is signed by a number of officials, including one from the US government.

"I think that it just goes to show that a long-term goal of our bureau has been to bolster energy security in the region. And that really means diversifying routes and diversifying access, so that no country is overly dependent on a single source for its energy resources. Europe very rightly has some important goals to wean itself off Russian oil and Russian gas. In fact, one of its primary goals is to wean itself off Russian gas completely by 2027. The more diversity of resources, the more they can help advance that goal and we see the Southern Gas Corridor as part of that. I think there's still work to be done for Europe to be able to achieve that goal. But, in short, our goals with the Southern Gas Corridor now are the same as they were a decade ago when the bureau was founded to diversify energy resources for our partners and allies," she said.

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