Azerbaijani Economy 8 august — 13:49

Trump protected Azerbaijani pipeline from US sanctions

307

The Southern Gas Corridor has received a waiver from US sanctions against Iran's energy customers, an expected win for the project designed to transport 10 Bcm a year of Caspian natural gas to Turkey and southern Europe while bypassing Russia, S&P Global Platts reports.

BP had been seeking a sanctions waiver for its development of Azerbaijan's offshore Shah Deniz fields, the source of the Southern Gas Corridor's natural gas. Iran's NICO holds a 10% share in the second phase of Shah Deniz, potentially triggering US sanctions against Iran petroleum sector investment.

US energy sector sanctions being re-imposed November 4 will ban companies from the US financial system if they continue to do business with Iran. Countries that depend on Iranian oil imports are continuing to press the US government for waivers.

Trump's order contained a "natural gas project exception" that describes the Southern Gas Corridor without naming it. The order referenced the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012, a US law that describes an exemption for "the development of natural gas and the construction and operation of a pipeline to transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey and Europe." The law says the corridor "provides to Turkey and countries in Europe energy security and energy independence" from Russia.

Latest news