EU, Azerbaijan Reach Deal to Double Gas Supplies by 2027

The EU and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that would double the flow of Azeri gas to Europe to at least 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year by 2027. European Commission President von der Leyen said after the agreement that Azerbaijan is a key partner in EU’s efforts to phase out Russian fossil fuels and the MoU marks a new chapter in their energy cooperation with Baku.

The EU has been looking for alternative energy sources to Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Azerbaijan has also agreed to increase deliveries of gas to Europe from 8.1 bcm in 2021 to 12 bcm this year.

Von der Leyen said they were looking to expand the capacity of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline to 20 bcm by 2027.

President of Azerbaijan Aliyev said after the signing that “issues of energy security today are more important than ever before”. “Long-lasting, predictable and very reliable cooperation between EU and Azerbaijan in the field of energy is a big asset.” he added.

The Southern Gas Corridor transporting Azeri gas to the EU has been operational since 2020.

The EU has already imposed a ban on Russian oil in May, and most of the imports will stop by the end of the year as part of a wave of EU sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, the bloc still avoids an outright ban on Russian gas imports, which in 2021 accounted for nearly 40% of the EU’s needs.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency Director Birol urged Europe to cut demand as soon as possible as he warned that Europe’s efforts to diversify suppliers will not be enough to get it through winter without Russian gas.

Birol said non-Russian sources alone would not meet Europe’s demand as they are not available in the volumes required to substitute missing deliveries from Russia.

He added that this would be the case even if gas supplies from Norway and Azerbaijan flow at maximum capacity, deliveries from North Africa remain at last year’s levels, domestic production continues to follow recent trends and LNG imports increase at a similar rate as they did in the first half of this year.

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