Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 7
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) does not exclude the possibility of supplying Azerbaijani gas to India and Pakistan in the future, Rovnag Abdullayev, SOCAR head, said in an interview with Italian media Oct. 7.
He said that despite the drop in oil prices on the world markets, SOCAR has not reduced the investments in large projects.
"SOCAR's revenues will decrease twofold in 2015 due to the oil price fall, but we still have good supply," he said. "The cost price of oil production in Azerbaijan is low. This gives us some advantages. The Southern Gas Corridor project, envisaging the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, is competitive. The contracts on its sale for 30 years have been already concluded."
He added that SOCAR has not yet received any proposals from Iran, Turkmenistan and Israel regarding pumping their gas through the Southern Gas Corridor.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
"The Southern Gas Corridor is designed to pump 16 billion cubic meters of gas at the first stage with its further expansion up to 30 billion cubic meters," he said. "The matter rests in Azerbaijani gas. As for entering the Asian markets, at the moment, we have no plans to enter them. However, I do not exclude that in the future we could export gas to such promising markets as India and Pakistan."
He said that the oil crisis has not affected SOCAR's investment plans.
"We will continue investing in large projects," he said. "In the future, we do not expect any problems with liquidity. The Central Bank of Azerbaijan has opened a credit line for us in the amount of about 2 billion manat."
He talked about SOCAR's agreement with Russian Gazprom, through which the gas will be supplied to Azerbaijan in the swap regime and then transported to the southern regions of Russia.
"Gazprom also sells gas to some consumers in Azerbaijan at low prices," he said. "Our goal is to turn Azerbaijan into a strategic point on the natural gas market. We are expanding the capacity of our gas storage facilities. This must help increase the number of our contracts in this sphere."
SOCAR includes production associations Azneft (the enterprises producing oil and gas onshore and offshore), Azerkimya (the chemical industry enterprises) and Azerigaz.
The company also has a number of processing enterprises, service enterprises, and institutions involved in geophysical and drilling operations.
SOCAR is the sole producer of oil products in Azerbaijan. It has two oil refineries and filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.
It is the co-owner of the largest Turkish petrochemical complex, Petkim, and other assets in Turkey.
Edited by CN
follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov