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EU puts emphasis on Southern Gas Corridor

EU puts emphasis on Southern Gas Corridor for sake of energy security.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   April 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM   |   Comments

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April 3 (UPI) -- The Southern Gas Corridor of transit networks is a necessary ingredient for energy security, a joint U.S.-European Union statement said.

European Commission President Manuel Barroso in 2009 said the transit networks envisioned under the system would provide the "building blocks" for regional energy security.

A 2009 move by Russian energy company Gazprom to cut gas supplies through Ukraine because of contractual disputes sparked concerns about Russia's grip on the energy sector. European consumers get about a quarter of their gas needs met by Russia, though most of that runs through the Soviet-era transit system in Ukraine.

EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger met Wednesday in Brussels with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss renewed concerns about energy security in the wake of the Ukrainian upheaval.

"The [joint U.S.-EU Energy] Council reaffirmed the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor to bring gas to Europe," they said in a statement.

Part of the corridor relies on a string of pipeline networks that will tie into the Shah Deniz natural gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan.

Kerry said in a statement both sides had critical work ahead for the sake of European energy security.

"The United States and the EU have a lot of work to do in order to diversify our energy supplies," he said Wednesday.

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