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Amid a slump in EU gas prices, the continent is rushing to diversify its natural gas imports. Oilprice.com wrote yesterday that Russian gas giant Gazprom has seen its 2022 revenue and market share in Europe collapse as a result of Western sanctions. While Russia is busy trying to re-route exports to Asian consumers, Europe has ramped up gas imports from Azerbaijan.
Azeri gas supplies to Europe through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) amounted 2.9 bcm in the first quarter of 2023. While this makes Azerbaijan a relatively small supplier to the EU, the total volume supplied in 2023 is higher than in previous years. In 2021, Europe received 8 bcm of gas from Azerbaijan, which increased to 11.4 bcm in 2022.
According to Caspiannews.com, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said that his country is planning to ramp up supplies from around 12 bcm this year to approximately 20 bcm in 2027. In July of 2022, the European Commission and Azerbaijan forged a strategic partnership in the energy sector by signing a Memorandum of Understanding. Under the provisions of this memorandum, Azerbaijan has committed to doubling its gas exports to the European Union. In the MoU, the two parties also expressed the topic of renewables, in particular wind energy and green hydrogen. The EU believes that Azerbaijan could become a strategic renewable energy partner in the long term while growing its role as a natural gas supplier in the short term.
In order to be able to deliver the extra volumes, Azerbaijan leans heavily on its Shah Deniz and Absheron fields, the former of which produced around 25 bcm of natural gas in 2022 and 36 million barrels of condensate in 2022. The real gamechanger here for Azerbaijan is the Absheron field, ownership of which is shared 50/50 by TotalEnergies and SOCAR. First commercial production at the Absheron field is scheduled to start this year at a rate of around 1.5 bcm per year, which is expected to increase to around 90,000 boepd, or around 5.1 bcm per year in 2027.
Image source: Offshore Technology
By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com
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Tom majored in International Business at Amsterdam’s Higher School of Economics, he is Oilprice.com's Head of Operations