Azerbaijan and Partners Sign Final Investment Decision to Expand Natural Gas to Europe

 Azerbaijan and Partners Sign Final Investment Decision to Expand Natural Gas
                                  to Europe

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013

Southern Gas Corridor Closer to Realization

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Top Azerbaijani, EU and
US officials and members of the Shah Deniz consortium gathered in Baku on
Tuesday to celebrate a major milestone in the development of a new energy
corridor that will connect Caspian natural gas to Europe and provide
much-needed energy diversity to the region.

Officials marked the signing of the Final Investment Decision (FID) agreements
of the Shah Deniz phase II development project. Anticipated to cost $40
billion dollars, the project will enhance Azerbaijan's integration with its
European partners and, once again, underscore Azerbaijan's leadership in
promoting prosperity and development in the region.

"The agreement to be signed today will change the energy map of Europe," said
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, adding, "I believe that Shah Deniz will
reach many more destinations in Europe than those we are signing for today."

Participants in Tuesday's ceremony included President Aliyev, members of the
Shah Deniz consortium, heads of governments and foreign ministers from Europe.
A delegation from the US Department of Energy also participated. Shah Deniz
consortium members include BP, SOCAR, Statoil, Total SA, Lukoil, NICO and

Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR, said: "This is a truly historic day for
Azerbaijan. This is the first time that our country and this region has
embarked upon such an ambitious gas project. This project paves the way for
Azerbaijan's future and the region's future."

The FID agreements are significant: Shah Deniz represents the first new major
gas volumes into Europe in decades and significant investment for southern
Europe. The consortium announced in June 2013 its selection of Trans Adriatic
Pipeline (TAP) as the pipeline route connecting Shah Deniz energy to Europe
through Greece, Albania and Italy.

"Shah Deniz will open up a new chapter in Azerbaijan's energy leadership,"
said BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley. "As it did at the end of the 19^th
Century, Azerbaijan is poised once again to provide energy security to

Azerbaijani energy into Europe will enable diverse and competitive markets to
ensure energy security in Europe and the region. With this important
investment decision, the Southern Corridor and its related market development,
additional gas supplies and infrastructure construction come closer to
realization. The consortium aims for the first gas deliveries from the project
to reach Turkey in 2018 and Europe in 2019.

SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States

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