Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend A.Ismyailova / The Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, stated at the opening of 14th Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference incorporating oil refinery and petro-chemistry which began in Baku on 5 June, that Azerbaijan had solved its oil and gas industry problems.
He noted that foreign investors had invested considerable capital into the oil and gas sector of Azerbaijan, which demonstrates favorable business climate in the country. The President noted that over the past period no problems or serious trials have been experienced between the foreign companies and the Azerbaijan Government.
The head of state noted two considerable important events held over the past two years in the oil and gas industry of the country. They were the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan export pipeline, which will be working at its full capacity from next year, as well as the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline and the commencement of gas production from the Shah Deniz field.
President Aliyev noted that next year gas production in Azerbaijan will have increased two-fold and will comprise over 8 bln cu m. In this way Azerbaijan will cover its domestic demand in 'blue fuel' as well as the export to world markets.
The President said that the reserves of all gas fields are estimated at 1.500 trln cu m. He voiced his hopes for new gas fields to be opened in the country in the future.
The head of state announced Azerbaijan's currency reserves comprised US 5 bln and according to the World Bank's calculations, next year the figure is expected to be $150-200 bln. Aliyev noted that interest had been shown in the Absheron field, although previously international companies refused to conduct work in that field.
Welcoming letters from the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as government officials from the United States, Georgia, Turkey, Israel, Germany and Norway were read out at the opening ceremony of the exhibition and conference.