Monday, 22 November 2010

Hillary Clinton meets with EU counterpart to talk natural gas supply

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with her European Union
counterpart, High Representative Catherine Ashton, in Lisbon Friday to
discuss alternative ways to supply the EU with natural gas.

The EU is beholden to Russia for a significant chunk of its gas supply, and
has been pushing for the development of a "Southern Corridor" to bring
commercial gas from the Caspian
Basin, Central Asia and the Middle East to the EU.

The meeting reviewed the principles of the Energy Security Working Group, a
task force charged with reviewing arrangements for the management of
emergencies in electricity, gas and liquid fuel markets. "We were encouraged by progress since the last meeting in the development of
a Southern Corridor to diversify sources and routes to help meet Europe's
long-term natural gas requirements," said Clinton, Ashton, and other
principals in a statement after the meeting.

The statement also noted the June 7 signing of a gas transit and pricing
agreement between Turkey and Azerbaijan, which allowed producers and
shippers to negotiate contracts to bring Caspian gas to European markets. The leaders also considered alternative, non-Caspian sources of gas for the
Southern Corridor, such as Iraq. They called on Iraqi authorities to
implement new hydrocarbon and revenue sharing agreements.

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