Four EU countries - Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria - are setting up a working group for the project to boost Azerbaijani gas imports, Slovakian Ministry of Economy said.
These countries have asked the European Commission to allocate funds for developing infrastructure to get additional natural gas from Azerbaijan. It is about developing the existing infrastructure, construction of new interconnectors and expanding the capacity of the existing ones.
"The involved stakeholders are going to establish a technical working group in order to prepare the project technical study for open season. Further project development will depend on the outcomes of the technical study and open season," the ministry told Trend.
According to the statement, diversification of gas supply is a persistent and pressing issue. @Following the recent negative geopolitical developments and "weaponisation" of gas supply to the EU, our suppliers acted quickly to ensure substitution for Russian gas deliveries. Our biggest supplier was able to conclude contracts that substitute almost 2/3 of the Russian gas including LNG and alternative pipeline gas. Given the market dynamics, it is difficult to talk about concrete future volumes. Nevertheless, according to the IEA, the EU could face a shortage of 30 bcm this year," the ministry added,
"The infrastructure bottlenecks represent barriers to supply additional gas volumes to our internal gas market. Therefore, the abovementioned initiative of 4 TSO is important and should be supported in order to deliver the Azeri gas where it is needed most," the ministry concluded.
The supply of Azerbaijani natural gas to the European market through TAP started on December 31, 2020. The European Commission signed a deal with Azerbaijan in July 2022 to double imports of natural gas from 10 to 20 billion cubic meters per year.