Washington lauds Azeri energy potential

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 2 (UPI) -- Washington is ready to assist Azerbaijan in bringing its energy resources to the international market, the U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy said.

Richard Morningstar is in Baku to attend an international energy conference sponsored by the Azeri Energy Ministry and the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan.


"We believe that Azerbaijan, as well as its neighbors, will maximize their oil and gas production, including through the development of new sources," said Morningstar. "We are ready to assist Azerbaijan in the delivery of hydrocarbons to the markets."

The Western-backed Nabucco pipeline relies in part on gas supplies from Azerbaijan. Europe sees the $10.7 billion project as a means to move away from a dependent relationship on Russia in the energy sector.

Morningstar said the role of Azerbaijan in European energy security matters would establish a strong partnership with Washington and its allies, the Trend news agency reports.

U.S. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, weighed in on the matter, expressing his support for Azerbaijan in the regional energy market.

"Your country has emerged as an important and reliable supplier of energy to world markets," he said in a letter to Baku. "Azerbaijan is an example of how developing energy resources with the involvement of international companies can result in rapid progress and access to the best technology."


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