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Energy Security: U.S. Actively Influencing the Southern Corridor Gas Pipeline Project to Bypass Russia

Published: October 19, 2012
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Source: Interfax Ua

The United States supports the Southern Corridor project to weaken the monopoly on gas supplies to Europe, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Giving a lecture on Energy Diplomacy in the 21st Century at Georgetown University on Thursday, Clinton said that one of the focuses “of our energy diplomacy is helping to promote competition and prevent monopolies.”

“Consider what’s been happening in Europe. For decades, many European nations received much of their natural gas via pipeline from one country: Russia,” Clinton said.

“But that has now changed in part because of the increased production here in the United States, there’s a lot more natural gas in the global market looking for a home. Plus, there’s natural gas in the Caspian and in Central Asia. They’d like to sell it, and Europe would like to buy it. But first, they need to build pipelines. And that’s the goal of a project called the Southern Corridor, which would stretch across the European continent. The United States has been an active partner to all those participants to help move this project to fruition,” Clinton said.

The Southern Corridor project calls for building gas pipelines from the Caspian and Central Asia to Europe, bypassing Russia.

Clinton said the U.S. is helping to move this project along because “we want to see countries grow and have stronger economies, but also because energy monopolies create risks.”

“Anywhere in the world, when one nation is overly dependent on another for its energy that can jeopardize its political and economic independence. It can make a country vulnerable to threats and coercion. And that’s why NATO has identified energy security as a key security issue of our time. It’s also why we created the U.S.-European Union Energy Council to deepen our cooperation on strategic energy issues. It’s not just a matter of economic competition, as important as that is. It’s also a matter of national and international security,” Clinton said.

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