Azerbaijan’s gas output may reach 50 bln cubic meters by 2020
Azerbaijan's gas output may reach up to 50 billion cubic meters a year by 2020.
"This is a rather realistic forecast taking into account the country's gas reserves," Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister Natik Aliyev told journalists at the Azerbaijani-German business forum on Friday.
" Azerbaijan has outlined a serious program to increase gas production," he said.
Aliyev believes that "an increase in gas production at the operating fields that are being explored by the state-run oil company" is an important reserve in this direction.
According to his estimates, these fields will produce 8 billion cubic meters of gas in 2008, up by 0.5 billion cubic meters as against this year. Production rates will keep growing in the future.
In 2010, Azerbaijan's gas output may reach 30 billion cubic meters.
"The Shakh Deniz offshore field in the Caspian Sea is expected to yield highest profits. By 2020 it will produce 20-22 billion cubic meters of gas as a minimum," he said.
"If we add the associated gas from the Azeri-Chirag-Gyuneshli deposit, the annual gas output will grow by another 6-7 billion cubic meters," Aliyev said.
He pinpointed that Azerbaijan plans to explore gas reserves of the Azeri-Chirag-Gyuneshli deposit in several years to come. These reserves are found under oil beds and are estimated at 500 billion cubic meters.
"We also take into account gas reserves from undeveloped Caspian offshore fields such as Apsheron, Nakhchyvan, Zafar, Mashal, Araz and Alov. They will be launched in the future," he said.
Aliyev believes that Azerbaijan begins "an epoch of gas reserves exploration." ( Itar-Tass )