Europe’s demand for Azerbaijani gas remains unchanged on the agenda. The harsh and cold winter has caused an increase in gas import costs not only in Northern and Eastern Europe but even in Southern Europe. Meanwhile, Greece is of special importance.
Note that in November 2023, Greece increased spending on natural gas imports from Azerbaijan, Azernews reports, referring to the European Union’s statistical office.
In November alone, Greece spent 64.2 million euros on gas imports from Azerbaijan, up from 57.7 million euros in October, representing a 11.3 percent increase.
Greece imported 158.3 million cubic metres of natural gas from Azerbaijan in November, compared to 161.7 million cubic metres in October, indicating a 2.1 percent decrease in import volume.
Over the first 11 months of 2023, the cumulative gas exports from Azerbaijan to Greece reached almost 1.8 billion cubic metres, with a total value of 808.8 million euros.
Azerbaijan initiated gas transportation to Europe through the Southern Gas Corridor on December 31, 2020. The Southern Gas Corridor transports gas from the Caspian Sea region to European countries via Georgia and Türkiye, with a project cost of 33 billion US dollars. It is expected that the capital costs for the Southern Gas Corridor will be fully recouped within 8–10 years.
In July 2022, Azerbaijan and the EU reached an agreement to double the volume of gas supplies via the Southern Gas Corridor from the current 10 billion cubic metres to 20 billion cubic metres by 2027.
Recall that Azerbaijan is on target to double its gas exports to Europe by 2027, according to President Ilham Aliyev.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony for the Bulgaria-Serbia interconnector gas pipeline in Niš, Serbia, on December 10, President Aliyev confirmed that Baku will meet its promise to Brussels to double its gas exports to Europe to 20 billion cubic metres a year by 2027.
“The numbers already show that we are confidently moving towards this goal,” Aliyev said, explaining that Azerbaijan exported just over 8 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe in 2021, which will rise to “about 12 billion cubic metres” for this year.
“This will account for 50 percent of Azerbaijan’s total gas exports,” he said.
To double gas exports to Europe, Baku has to both increase gas production and increase the capacity of the three transit pipelines that make up the Southern Gas Corridor, which carries Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea to European markets.
Azerbaijan’s gas production and export continue to grow.
Data released on December 13 shows production for January-November reaching 44 billion cubic metres, up 3.5 percent on the same period in 2022, with exports over the same period totaling 22 billion cubic metres, up 9.5 percent.