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SOCAR’s VP: the AGRI project is not dead, it needs more time

21 November 2016

The interconnector project of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania (AGRI), which pressumes transporting liquefied gas from Azerbaijan to Romania, is not dead, however, by being very costly, it needs more time to be implemented, said Suleyman Gasimov, Vicepresident on economic issues of the SOCAR Azeri oil group, while being present in Romania on the ocassion of opening of a new gas station near Bucharest.

“It’s been very long since the AGRI idea started. From the beginning, this project required a large investment. The construction of the terminal in Georgia, followed by the one in Romania requires huge investments”, said Gasimov, quoted by Agerpres.

He noted that SOCAR is currently involved in other projects through which Azerbaijani gas will reach Europe, such as the TAP and TANAP pipelines.

“Now there are pipelines through which Azerbaijan exports gas on the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum route and we are involved in the TANAP project at the moment, where SOCAR is not alone, we have foreign partners. Then there were discussions between Nabucco and TAP, the TAP project was selected and we are going further with it “, added the SOCAR vicepresident.

According to him, as far as SOCAR is concerned, the AGRI project is likely to be implemented as long as all the countries involved support it.

“The AGRI project is still a project that needs to be discussed and analyzed. If we are still discussing about AGRI, it means that the project is not dead, we have more to talk about it. It’s about time, because in Azerbaijan there are many oil and gas deposits, we have strong partners there, large global oil companies, all of us together are analyzing and we must all look with the same interest for new projects, like AGRI. But let’s see how things evolve over time,”added Gasimov.

“Romania is a priority country for Azerbaijani investments, therefore Romania is the first country where SOCAR has invested in Europe. Further, Romania will remain a priority country for SOCAR and Azerbaijan,”said Gasimov.

Asked about the reasons for which the Azeri state considers Romania a priority country, he recalled the very good political relations between the two countries.

“SOCAR, being a state-owned company, we complete the Azerbaijan state policies with the friendly countries. Romania is among the countries with which we have a very close relationship. We have political relations at the highest level, and SOCAR invests in countries where we have good political relations. This is the reason. We came in Romania, we have analyzed this market and we saw the opening of the Romanian state for Azerbaijani investments. That was why we decided to invest in Romania and we are very glad and very happy with this decision and we will continue. We are people with a common tradition and the Black Sea unites us,”added Suleyman Gasimov.

The AGRI project (the Azerbaijan – Georgia – Romania Interconnector) aims to transport gas from the Caspian region, on the territory of Azerbaijan and Georgia, and crossing the Black Sea by LNG tankers, involving the construction of two terminals for liquefaction (on the Georgian coast of the Black Sea and at Constanta. Once in Romania, the liquefied gas would be regasified and transported further to the rest of Europe through pipelines. The gas volumes are intended primarily to ensure the consumption of Romania and Hungary, the rest being directed to other potential markets in Europe.

The AGRI project was initiated in 2010 through a memorandum signed in Bucharest between Romania, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and later joined by Hungary.


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