Seminar on the role of Azerbaijan in the new geopolitics of energy

Press Release: On 26 November 2014, a seminar on the role of Azerbaijan in the new geopolitics of energy, entitled What is Azerbaijan’s role in the new geopolitics of energy? was jointly organised by the French office of The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) and the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS). The event was hosted by Didier Billon, Deputy Director, IRIS, and was attended by Jean-Marie Bockel, Senator of the Haut-Rhin; Catherine Mantel, Director Russia–CIS Project, GDF Suez; Marc-Antoine Eyl-Mazzega, Manager, Russia Programme, International Energy Agency; Inessa Baban, Research Fellow, Institute of Strategic Research, École Militaire; and Turab Gurbanov, Senior Advisor, Foreign Relations Department, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration. Marie-Laetitia Gourdin, Director, TEAS France, provided the welcome speech.

The timing of the seminar was pivotal, as the global energy arena has changed dramatically over the last few years. This is attributable to several factors, including the growing demand for hydrocarbons in emerging countries; the development of the non-conventional energy sector in North America; ongoing debates regarding the transition to alternative supplies; and issues relating to the Ukrainian gas hub. Azerbaijan now has a more prominent role to play in energy geopolitics, due to its extensive oil and gas reserves.

The panel at the seminar used their expertise to suggest answers to the following questions, amongst others:

  • what is the role of Azerbaijan in a complex regional environment, the stability of which is necessary to facilitate the development of any energy project?
  • how can Baku contribute to securing energy supplies for the European Union through the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which are integral elements of the Southern Energy Corridor?
  • what is the potential impact of this project in terms of development and economic co-operation?

The full report may be read here