Ambassador: SOCAR seeks potential opportunities in Bulgarian oil market

Company is studying technical and commercial opportunities to enter retail market in South-Eastern European countries

Baku. 13 October. REPORT.AZ/ The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is viewing potential opportunities in the Bulgarian oil market.

Report informs, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Bulgaria, Nargiz Gurbanova said in her interview to Novinite (Sofia News Agency).

The Ambassador said that SOCAR is studying technical and commercial opportunities to enter retail market in South-Eastern European countries: "Also, SOCAR is viewing potential opportunities in the Bulgarian oil market. No commercial decisions have been made so far. We may talk about our possible commercial presence in the Bulgarian oil market in the long term perspective while our priorities at the current stage aregas supplies and interconnector projects in the Balkan region and the provision of technical services and consultancy. As an illustration, I can say that SOCAR Balkans is a technical consultant for the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline project", ambassador added.

She also added that SOCAR contributes to the gasification plans for Albania and Montenegro and intends to participate in the tender for the 3D seismic services for the expansion of Chiren underground gas storage project.

Ambassador also spoke about Southern Gas Corridor project and stated that over the last years Azerbaijan and Bulgaria have been closely cooperating in the context of the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, which considers transport of the Caspian Sea gas to Europe. N.Gurbanova noted that within the project one billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Shah Deniz gas field of Azerbaijan will be annually supplied to Bulgaria: "These gas volumes are expected to be transported through the projected Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB)".

Azerbaijani Ambassador said that the Trans-Anatolian and Trans-Adriatic pipelines which are the backbone of the SGC don’t physically pass through the Bulgarian territory, the country is considered as an important link of the SGC. According to her, this is not only in terms of the decision to buy naturalgas volumes but more significantly due to the potential role Bulgaria could play in promoting the expansion of the SGC to further markets in Europe: "I would like to note that the Joint Declaration of the Second Ministerial Meeting of the SGC Advisory Council adopted on February 29, 2016 endorsed the particular interest presented by the projects of Interconnectors Greece-Bulgaria and Turkey-Bulgaria in this regard."

N.Gurbanova also added that over the past years the two countries have made serious progress in cooperation in energy field. The Ambassador stressed that there is still untapped potential for enhancing the cooperation on energy matters: "We do appreciate the fact that the Bulgarian Government views Azerbaijan as a desirable and reliable partner for ensuring its energy security. We also share this interest to further our bilateral engagement and are ready to continue closely working with Bulgarian partners in exploring ways to advance mutually beneficial energy partnership."

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