Baku is hosting this week's at the 19th annual Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition. Azerbaijan is emerging as a major energy supplier given the vast oil and natural gas resources available in the Caspian Sea.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement from London that Baku had a "vital role" to play in global economic development.
Europe aims to build its Southern Corridor of natural gas transit networks in an effort to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector. Cameron said intergovernmental agreements and plans to bring natural gas from the Shah Deniz gas field meant the network was closer to reality.
"This marks a step change in the diversification of European energy supplies," he was quoted by the region's Trend news service as saying. "It is also important to enabling development of the region's hydrocarbon reserves."
A consortium working in the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea, led by British energy company BP, is expected this month to choose between two natural gas projects for Europe; South East Europe Pipeline and Nabucco West, a scaled down version of the larger $10 billion pipeline meant for the Southern Corridor.
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