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Plenty of gas for Europe, Azerbaijan says

June 11, 2013 at 7:38 AM

VIENNA, June 11 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan is situated to play a vital role in European energy security strategies over the long haul, Azerbaijan Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said.

Aliyev attended a conference in Vienna on the European relationship with energy producers from the Caspian region.

European leaders are looking to offshore natural gas reserves in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea as a way to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector.

Aliyev said as much as $60 billion was invested in Azeri infrastructure, meaning there's now as much as 91 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves on hand for European markets.

"We can produce a whole lot more," he said in a Monday statement.

British energy company BP last week published a draft environmental and social impact statement about its work in the offshore Shah Deniz field. It describes existing environmental social and environmental conditions and outlines prevention measures to offset any potential adverse effects.

BP this month is expected to choose between Nabucco West and the Trans-Adriatic pipelines to transport Azeri natural gas to European consumers.

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