Serbia’s gas company Srbijagas and Azerbaijan’s oil and gas company SOCAR signed a contract for the delivery of 400 million cubic meters of natural gas by the end of 2024. It would be the first delivery of the fuel from Azerbaijan to Serbia. The two countries have also signed a memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation.
Serbia consumed three billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2022, of which the majority was supplied by Russia’s Gazprom. However, the Balkan country is finishing an interconnector with Bulgaria that will enable import diversification and allow the possibility to buy pipeline gas from other countries, including Azerbaijan, or liquified natural gas (LNG).
Serbia said the memorandum of understanding was signed in Baku by Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović Handanović and Azerbaijani Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov.
After 2026, Serbia could raise imports to one billion cubic meters
According to Đedović Handanović, the deal deepens bilateral cooperation between Serbia and Azerbaijan in energy and ensures the supply of 400 million cubic meters per year by 2026. After that, Serbia could raise the imports to one billion cubic meters, Đedović Handanović said.
She added Azerbaijan would become Serbia’s gas supplier after the gas interconnection with Bulgaria is finished, and that it would be completed within days.
The cooperation with Azerbaijan represents the strategic goal of diversifying supplies and further strengthens Serbia’s position as a transit country for gas supply to Central European countries, she stressed.
Serbia’s gas consumption is expected to grow to four billion cubic meters by 2030
The memorandum, in her words, also opens up other opportunities for cooperation between the two countries, including the delivery of LNG through terminals in Turkey and Greece, and the construction of gas power plants and gas storage facilities
Serbia’s gas consumption is expected to grow from three billion cubic meters in 2022 to four billion by 2030, she said.
The Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Parviz Shahbazov stressed that the documents signed with Serbia establish the basis for multilateral cooperation in the sector of gas, including the first-ever supply of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Serbia.
Serbia is a new partner of Azerbaijan in diversifying the gas market in Europe, he said. Shahbazov stressed that Serbia is the eighth country supplied with natural gas by Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is expanding its mission as a reliable energy partner that contributes to energy security, Shahbazov added.