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Azeri gas for European energy security

  |   April 17, 2009 at 1:04 PM
BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 17 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan is interested in all natural gas projects that will improve energy security with potential European partners, its top oil chief said Friday.

Rovnag Abdullayev, president of the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic, said during a meeting Friday with Swiss officials in Baku that interest in the natural gas potential in his country is growing, the Today.Az news agency reports.

"There were made a lot of proposals for purchase of Azerbaijani gas from the (offshore) Shah Deniz field," Abdullayev said. "We are considering the best and economically beneficial proposal."

Production at the offshore Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea started in December 2006. It is one of the largest gas-field discoveries in decades with more than 15 trillion cubic feet in estimated reserves.

Shah Deniz gas travels currently through a Caspian pipeline network to Turkey and Georgia. Europe sees Azerbaijan as the answer to its energy-security needs in the wake of a disruptive gas row between Kiev and Moscow.

Azerbaijan is seen as a major potential supplier to the Nabucco gas pipeline to Europe through Turkey. Turkish officials, who expect to sign off on the deal by June, say the project cannot go forward without Azerbaijan.

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