Is the Southern Gas Corridor on Track?

September 21, 2016 - 4:00 pm

The Atlantic Council, 1030 15th ST NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

Is the Southern Gas Corridor on Track?

A conversation with:
Agnia Grigas
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

Joe Murphy
Vice President, Southern Corridor

Daniel Stein
Former Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy and the Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs
US Department of State

Moderated by:
Thomas Cunningham
Deputy Director, Global Energy Center
Atlantic Council
Introductory remarks by:
Richard Morningstar
Founding Director and Chairman, Global Energy Center
Atlantic Council

Due to energy security concerns surrounding Russia’s stated commitment to bypass Ukraine as a gas transit country and the need to improve gas pipeline infrastructure to help stranded European markets access new gas exports from the United States, Azerbaijan and elsewhere, the European Union is increasingly dedicated to finding alternative routes and sources for natural gas. The Southern Gas Corridor has been years in the planning and its proposed completion date (2018-2020 timeframe) is rapidly approaching. Real progress has been made in recent years: confirmation of the route in 2013 and groundbreaking for construction in Turkey and Greece 2016.  But challenges remain, including regional security issues, local opposition along parts of the route, stagnant gas demand in Western Europe, and the decreasing cost of imported liquefied natural gas. In this context, the Global Energy Center will convene a panel of experts to discuss the current state of the Southern Corridor and the challenges it faces in the future.

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Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record. 

Metro and parking info


Thomas Cunningham is deputy director of the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council. He joined the Council following a thirteen-year career at the US Department of State, where he most recently served as Energy Diplomacy Team Lead for Europe at the Bureau of Energy Resources (August 2013–May 2016). In that role he advised the Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs and other senior US government officials on the intersection of energy and foreign policy in Europe and lead the department’s responsibility for organizing meetings of the US-EU Energy Council. He has also served at the State Department in the Bureaus of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, European and Eurasian Affairs, Economic and Business Affairs, and Diplomatic Security. Mr. Cunningham also worked on climate and energy legislation in the US Senate as a Brookings Legislative Fellow in 2009. He holds an MA in German and European Studies from Georgetown University and a BA in English/Creative Writing and French from Colorado College. Mr. Cunningham is an Adjunct Instructor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. 

Agnia Grigas is an expert on energy; security; and foreign policy regarding Europe, the post-Soviet space, Russia, and the Baltic states. In the private sector, Dr. Grigas has more than a decade of experience as an adviser to corporations and government institutions. Dr. Grigas also served as adviser on energy security and the economy for the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008-2009), focusing on regional gas diversification solutions and foreign direct investment. She has held various fellowships including the Truman national security fellowship (2015-2016), and since 2014 she has been a nonresident senior fellow at the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs at Occidental College. She is the author of three books: The New Geopolitics of Gas (Harvard UP, forthcoming 2017), Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire (Yale UP, 2016) and The Politics of Energy and Memory Between the Baltic States and Russia (Ashgate, 2013). Dr. Grigas earned her master's and doctorate in international relations from the University of Oxford and graduated cum laude with a BA in politics and economics from Columbia University. She resides in Washington, DC.

Richard Morningstar is the Founding Director and Chairman of the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council. He served as the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan from 2012 to 2014 and as Ambassador to the European Union from 1999 to 2001. Additionally, Ambassador Morningstar was Ambassador and Special Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State on assistance for the New Independent States of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, where he oversaw all US bilateral assistance and trade investments from 1995 to 1998. Prior to his appointment in Azerbaijan, he was the Secretary of State's Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy. Ambassador Morningstar served as Special Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy, where he coordinated within the executive branch and with other governments and international organizations to promote US Policies. From 1993 to 1995, he served as Senior Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Ambassador Morningstar has lectured at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Stanford Law School. He was also a Senior Director at Albright Stonebridge Group.

Joe Murphy is the vice president of the Southern Corridor for BP and is based in Baku, Azerbaijan. In this capacity, he is responsible for Shah Deniz Gas Value Chain (GVC) integration and BP's external affairs for all Southern Corridor matters, including representation of Shah Deniz GVC to the governments of Greece, Albania, Italy, and to the European Commission (EC). He joined BP in 2000 and is an experienced oil and gas industry manager. He received his MA in history from Cambridge University.

Daniel Stein is a consultant specializing in energy issues in Europe and Eurasia.  Prior to his retirement from the US government, Mr. Stein served as senior advisor to the US State Department’s Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy. In that role, he participated in negotiations with senior public and private sector decision-makers throughout Europe and Eurasia. Mr. Stein has extensive experience in international energy projects, including transnational oil and gas pipeline projects, and was most recently engaged in helping develop the Southern Gas Corridor. Before joining the State Department in 2009, Mr. Stein served as Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia at the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), where he managed a multi-million dollar portfolio of economic development projects. While at USTDA, Mr. Stein worked on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and South Caucasus Pipeline projects and served as USTDA Regional Director for the Asia and Latin America regions, where he developed multi-million dollar projects in the energy, ICT, agriculture, power, and transportation sectors. In his early career, Mr. Stein worked at the US Department of Commerce, focusing on US trade with the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and the People's Republic of China. Mr. Stein holds BA and JD degrees from the University of Michigan.