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Gas good for Baku, EU, Oettinger says

June 7, 2012 at 8:43 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 7 (UPI) -- Natural gas pipelines stretching from Azerbaijan to Europe would be emblematic of emerging bilateral ties, a European official said from Baku.

Azerbaijan is hosting an international Caspian oil and natural gas conference this week. The country is emerging as a major oil and natural gas supplier, with significant reserves in its waters of the Caspian Sea.

European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger delivered a message to the conference stating projects planned in the Southern Corridor of natural gas transit networks would solidify Europe's relationship with Baku.

"With a strong pipeline link between Azerbaijan and Europe, the relationship between us could become much stronger," his message was quoted by the regional Trend news service as stating.

British Prime Minister David Cameron this week stated similar sentiments. British energy company BP is leading developmental efforts at the Shah Deniz natural gas field in the Caspian Sea. Reserves there are expected to play a major role in Southern Corridor projects.

Oettinger, meanwhile, said the emerging role of Azerbaijan in the energy sector was a positive development for the country.

"Over 20 years of independence Azerbaijan has been transformed," he said. "The achievements of the country in energy sector, as well as the positive environment, in particular transparent legal regime allows international companies to invest in Azerbaijan."

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