Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.22
By Asif Mehman – Trend:
A new energy project will significantly strengthen Azerbaijan’s potential, the country’s President Ilham Aliyev stated on January 6, 2021, during a video meeting dedicated to the results of 2020, Trend reports.
“I don't want to get ahead of myself. But at the same time, in the coming days, we’ll witness new very positive developments in the energy sector. At the right time, news about this will be also reported,” added Ilham Aliyev.
Shortly after the statement, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan signed a memorandum on joint development of the Dostlug field in the Caspian Sea.
On January 21, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held the videoconference meeting in connection with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of Turkmenistan on joint exploration, development of hydrocarbon resources of the Dostlug field in the Caspian Sea.
During the meeting, the presidents have agreed on the above memorandum.
This agreement is the result of many years of painstaking work, embarking on a new stage in relations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Azerbaijan has always made efforts to create an atmosphere of cooperation in the Caspian Sea.
Dostlug field to help develop Azerbaijan’s petrochemicals industry
The agreement reached on Jan.21 between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to work together on exploring and developing the Dostlug oil and gas field in the Caspian Sea is a major milestone, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza said.
“The agreement also clears the way for the transit of gas from Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and beyond. That would be very important for Turkmenistan to give its outlets to reliable markets,” he said. “New volumes of gas from Turkmenistan, especially from other fields of Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea have a natural market in Azerbaijan to help develop Azerbaijan’s petrochemical industry, but also maybe in Turkey.”
Bryza pointed out that these new volumes of natural gas could allow for the expansion of Azerbaijan’s petrochemicals industry.
“In short, this is a very important agreement that paves way for a wide range of cooperation,” he added.
Memorandum on the Dostlug field is of historical importance
Azerbaijani Parliament’s Member Azer Badamov noted that the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, signed by the Caspian states on August 12, 2018, formed a new format of cooperation in the Caspian.
“Before the signing of the Convention between the Caspian countries there were disagreements over the development of the sea bottom, but now this problem has already been resolved,” he stressed.
“In particular, the oil field discovered by our oilmen in the common part of the Azerbaijani - Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea and possessing large reserves of hydrocarbons, called ‘Kepez’ in Azerbaijan and ‘Serdar’ in Turkmenistan, was not developed. The signed Memorandum is of great historical importance for our countries. Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are friendly countries of common origin, they understand each other, even speaking their own language. I would call this joint memorandum a symbol of strengthening friendly relations between our countries,” said Badamov.
The MP stressed that Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan support each other at international platforms and take the same position in terms of creating new international transport corridors:
The creation of the format of assistance in the Caspian will contribute to the further rapprochement of our countries. The Dostlug field has large reserves of oil and gas. Azerbaijan has pipelines that allow exporting hydrocarbon resources to Europe, and they will play a key role in the transportation of oil and gas produced in this field.
Memorandum on the Dostlug field is a new milestone in the history of the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan
Ibrahim Ahmadov, Deputy Head of the Public Relations and Events Organization Department of SOCAR, told Trend that Dostlug is the new name of the field, which is located on the border of the Azerbaijani and Turkmen sectors of the Caspian Sea.
“In Azerbaijan, it was previously called ‘Kapaz’, and in Turkmenistan – ‘Sardar’. Negotiations on joint development of the field were conducted earlier. Today they have materialized in the form of a memorandum signed by representatives of the two countries,’ Ahmadov noted.
He added that during the Soviet time, Azerbaijani experts carried out exploration work here:
“This makes it possible to put this field in terms of its reserves approximately on a par with such a field as ‘Karabakh’. The reserves can be refined later using modern seismic exploration methods and possibly exploratory drilling. The memorandum is the first step towards this goal. At the same time, this is perhaps a new milestone in the history of the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. In this regard, the new name of our joint project – ‘Dostlug’ (friendship) is symbolic,” Ahmadov added.