The EU has a clear interest in working with Azerbaijan in the areas of energy industry, regional security, the rule of law, and fundamental freedoms, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said in an exclusive interview with Trend. Mogherini is to visit Baku to participate in the second Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Meeting end of February.

Speaking about the EU energy security, Mogherini said that the Southern Gas Corridor is vital to energy security strategy of the union, adding that it brings further diversification to the EU networks, and also offers a possibility to deepen political, economic, and social ties with a number of partners in the region of the union.

Meanwhile, European Commission’s Energy spokeswoman said that the Southern Corridor is being successfully put in place to supply gas from Azerbaijan to the EU by 2020. “The immediate priority for the region remains the completion of the Southern Gas Corridor, including TANAP, the Greece-Italy Trans-Adriatic Pipeline and the Greece-Bulgaria IGB Interconnector. The Corridor also offers the potential, in the future, to facilitate the entry of other gas sources into the EU from the Eastern Mediterranean, the Caspian, and the Middle East,” she added, according to the Azerbaijan State News Agency.

Previously, Azerbaijan had increased its commercial gas production to 18.9bcm in 2015, up by 0.2bcm compared to 2014, aiming at expanding the shipment of the Caspian gas to Europe. The production rose from both the Shah Deniz gas condensate field and the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli block of fields, making up the vast majority of the country’s gas reserves, currently estimated at 35tcf.