New Gas Supply Program Worked out in Azerbaijan: Interview with Head of Azerigaz

Business Materials 24 November 2008 10:48 (UTC +04:00)
New Gas Supply Program Worked out in   Azerbaijan: Interview with Head of Azerigaz

Azerbaijan, Baku, November 21/ Trend corr. E.Ismayilov/ Trend 's Interview with Alikhan Malikov, chairman of Azerigaz Closed Joint Stock Company (CJSC)

Question: There are two underground gas storages, including Galmaz and Garadagh, in Azerbaijan. At present measures are being taken to expand Garadagh gas storage. Which amount of gas will be pumped into underground gas storage after finishing work on expansion of the gas storage and why is its expansion important?

Answer: Underground gas storages occupy an important place in providing energy security of any country, in its economy and in supplying people with energy resources. Presence of such storages, which are inalienable and important segment of gas transport system, enables to realize recovery of enough amount of gas in line with requirements of autumn and winter seasons or under any force majeur conditions.

Given all of these, the Azerbaijani leadership pays attention to issues, connected to state of underground gas storages for their permanent exploitations, possible increase of active capacity of reservoirs and their use in future, as a source of strategic gas reservoirs.

Reconstruction work, which is connected to expansion of two underground gas storages, is being realized with this purpose and gradually their active capacity is increased to 3bln cu.m. It is planned to pump 1.3bln cu. m of natural gas into underground gas storages in 2008.A total of 1.38bln cu. m of gas was pumped into the storages on 1 November.

Question: At which stage are arrangements to autumn-winter season 2008-2009?

Answer: To stably supply Azerbaijani consumers in autumn-winter season 2008-2009, Azerigaz CJSC realized replacement, joining and connecting of more than 16,000m of tube with different diameter, installed and repaired great quantity of special equipments, which are used while distributing gas. Increasing need in gas of the country will be fully provided in autumn-winter period as a result of these measures and pumping of enough amount of gas into underground gas storages.

Question: Every year Azerbaijan increases amount of gas production, whose some part is exported and other - distributed in the country. Currently, how is amount of need in natural gas of the country and in which degree is this need satisfied?

Answer: Fully refusing from gas import in 2007, we have begun to use only local fuel to satisfy interior need. Natural gas production sharply rose in Azerbaijan in 2007 and 9.1bln cu.m of natural gas was delivered to gas transport system. This figure was fixed at 11.2bln cu.m in 2008.

The availability of gas in such amount allows not only to meet consumers' demand, but also to implement gas supply to regions, which were not provided with gas earlier, through increase of volumes and efficient usage. The local gas production growth dynamics will be continued in 2009

Question: How many percentage of the territory of the country have been supplied with gas and how the gas supply process is currently going on?

Answer: Azarigaz CJSC implements the gas supply process on the basis of the corresponding decree of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to accelerate the social and economic development of regions.

As a result of gas supply, which has been implemented in regions under the President's decree, the number of administrative-territorial regions, which are provided with gas, increased from 35 to 56. Currently, all regions, excluding Azerbaijan's occupied territories, are supplied with gas. The implementation of the works increases the gas supply rate in Azerbaijan to 83-84 percentages. This, in its turn, much more exceeds the gas supply index in 1991.

Under the gas supply indexes, received in 2008, CJSC designed a new gas supply plan for 2009-2013. At present, the proposals were submitted to corresponding organizations for consideration. The works in this direction will be started after the program to be approved.

The implementation of the program, which envisages gas supply to 1,889 settlements (some 550,000 subscribers will be provided with 'blue fuel') will allow bringing the gas supply index to 90 percentages. So, the tasks put before gas supply organization's employees by the President would be fulfilled.

Question: What volume of gas, which is produced by SOCAR company independently, is rendered to Azarigas and what volume will the company receive until the end of the year?

Answer: The approved fuel and energy balance of the country for 2008 forecasts that SOCAR will provide 11.287bln cu m of natural gas to Azarigas. As for nine months, the CJSC was provided with 7,950.4bln cu m of gas, which makes up 119.8 percentages in accordance with plan index for this period.

A total of 3,495.3bln cu m of natural gas out of the total volume was transferred to Azarigas and 4,215.5bln was distributed amongst other consumers.

Some 3, 336.6bln is expected to be transferred to the CJSC in the fourth quarter, i.e. the final volume will touch the index, which is envisaged in the fuel and energy balance of the country.

Question: How the installation of meters affected the gas consumption and payments for used gas?

Answer: Azerigaz supplied subscribers with meters in 2005-2007 at the order of the country's leadership. At present, 1.2mln subscribers or 99.6% of total number of subscribers are provided with measuring instruments. The installation of meters had a good impact on the rate of payments for the consumed natural gas. The payments rose by 30% compared to 2005.

In September 2005, the volume of collections for the supplied gas totaled to 92.8% and among unprivileged layers of population - 79.5%. As a whole, collections totaled to 65.2% and 62.7% respectively in 2008.

Question: Today Azerbaijan is developing with fast economic growth rates. There is a construction boom which, on its part, has caused a rise in the number of gas consumers. How many subscribers does Azerigaz have at the moment?

Answer: The total number of consumers supplied with gas makes up 1,153,119 with 1,134,521 of them accounting for population. Azerigaz makes efforts to increase the number of administrative-territorial regions supplied with gas, settlements in these regions and consumers.

Question: Are gas distribution systems expected to be updated soon or new ones will be constructed?

Answer: As in previous years, construction, capital repairs and reconstruction of gas pipes are carried out in 2008 as well. Gas regulators fit for utilization are put into operation. As a whole, in 2004-2008, gas pipes of various diameters and total length of about 2,000km were reconstructed and laid, 386km of which account for gas-main pipelines, 1,540km - transport and distribution lines.

At the same time, keeping system of gas transport lines fit for utilization, increasing capacity of this system from positions of technological and technical condition are reflected in action plan for 2009-2013.

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