The Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak, met with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev today to discuss increase relations and to cement energy cooperation.
Attending the signing ceremony of the new contract on the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in Baku, Albayrak read out a letter written by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Aliyev, which praised the development of the Azeri oil and energy industry.
Describing Turkish-Azeri energy cooperation as a model for the rest of the world, Erdogan’s letter wished “the prolongation of the new contract to benefit our countries” and stressed that the project benefits “the development of the whole region, as well as to the strengthening of Azerbaijan’s strategic role.”
The first and original contract for the ACG field, which is a block of oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan, was signed in 1994 and has since supplied the global market with its oil reserves of one billion tonnes. In the newly signed contract, Azerbaijan’s share of the oil will be 75 per cent, and bonus payments by foreign investors will reach $3.6 billion.
Another issue that was mentioned was the launch of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), described by Albayrak as an historic event, which is due to be completed next year. The pipeline will connect the Shah Deniz gas field – the largest in Azerbaijan of which Turkey has a 19 per cent share – to Europe by running through Anatolia, Greece, and reaching Italy. Another branch will go through Bulgaria after passing out of Turkey and will connect with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline in 2019, thereby being Europe’s fourth strategic source of gas.