Natural gas transmission system operators from Albania, Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro and Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR will set up a new company to implement the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) project. A letter of intent was signed at the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council in Baku. SOCAR is expected to act as one of the technical consultants for the IAP.
“SOCAR’s experience in the field of oil and gas is invaluable and we rely on its expertise and advice when it comes to natural gas,” said Dragica Sekulić, Montenegrin minister of economy. “Azerbaijan has already demonstrated and proved that it is a serious investor in Montenegro and I expect that to be passed on to the energy sector, which would further strengthen our already very good economic relations,” she added.
According to the minister, the Montenegrin government believes SOCAR’s involvement in activities related to the gasification of Montenegro and development of IAP project are important for the country.
The IAP is a proposed natural gas pipeline in southeastern Europe that will stretch from Albania through Montenegro and Bosnia to Split in Croatia. It will be connected with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. The IAP is set to deliver Azerbaijani gas to several countries in South-Eastern Europe. The capacity of the pipeline will be five billion cubic metres of gas per year.
SOCAR Balkan CEO Murad Heydarov said that a number of EU and Balkan states are interested in an increased share of natural gas in domestic energy supply and cooperation with Azerbaijan. “This is because natural gas is the most harmless fuel for the environment. These countries still need necessary gas infrastructure. These projects will diversify export directions of Azerbaijani gas,” said Mr Heydarov.