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Baku good for energy security, U.S. says

It makes strategic sense for the U.S. allies in the European Union to get some of their natural gas from the Caspian region, the U.S. envoy to Azerbaijan said.

Azerbaijan holds more than 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in its Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea. Azeri gas is viewed by Europe as a supply source for its lauded Nabucco natural gas pipeline, a project included in the so-called Southern Corridor of transit networks meant to break Russia's grip on the European energy sector.

Matthew Bryza, U.S. envoy to Baku, told the regional Trend news agency Washington and its European allies felt gas from the Caspian region would help allay some regional energy security concerns.

"Of course, it doesn't make sense for all of that gas to come eastwards, but some of it," Bryza was quoted as saying. "Some of it is just situated in deposits in the Caspian Sea or near the Caspian Sea for which the most economical mode of export is across the Caspian Sea."

Baku is at the center of a regional energy race spurred by 2009 disputes between Russia and Ukraine, which hosts 80 percent of the Russian natural gas sent to European consumers.

Source: UPI
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