“The total volume of (gas) deliveries to Europe in 2022 will be 12 billion cubic meters” – an increase of 31% compared to 2021, says Azerbaijani Energy Minister
Energy-rich Azerbaijan said on Monday that gas exports to Europe will increase by 30% this year as the European Union seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian gas during Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
Europe, which is heavily dependent on Russian supplies, has accused Moscow of using energy as a geopolitical weapon.
On Monday, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said Baku has “supplied Europe with 7.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas” in the eight months of this year.
“The total volume of (gas) deliveries to Europe in 2022 will be 12 billion cubic meters” – a 31% increase from 2021, he said on Twitter.
He also reported a nearly 10% increase in natural gas production, reaching 30.6 billion cubic meters in January-August 2022.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen proposed on Wednesday that member states agree on a price cap for gas imported from Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to abolish all countries that impose price caps on oil and gas exports.
In July, the EU and Baku agreed to double imports of gas from Azerbaijan in the coming years.
The agreement also provides for the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor that runs through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Greece – “up to 20 billion cubic meters per year in a few years.”
In May, EU leaders agreed to cut most Russian oil imports by the end of the year, as part of unprecedented sanctions they have imposed on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine.
But the bloc postponed an outright ban on Russian gas, which amounted to 155 billion cubic meters in 2021 — nearly 40% of EU needs.
Russia has already started cutting its gas supplies to prevent EU countries from replenishing reserves, prompting the European Commission to prepare “a gas demand reduction plan” to get through next winter .