SOCAR occupies 75 percent of Georgia's gas & fuel market

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 30 / Trend /

On July 29, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) held a presentation for the representatives of the Fitch Ratings agency to obtain an international rating, SOCAR reported.

Being fully state company SOCAR operated on commercial principles, SOCAR Head Rovnag Abdullayev said.

During the speech, Abdullayev noted the work conducted in Turkey and Georgia. After purchasing a major Turkish Petkim petrochemical complex, this petrochemical complex operates with profit under the global financial and economic crisis though highly-qualified managers.

So far, SOCAR has invested roughly $400 in Georgia's economy, Abdullayev said. The company holds about 75 percent of the fuel and gas market of Georgia.

In 2008, the company signed a contract with "Fitch" and "Moody's" rating agencies to receive a rating, after familiarizing the Fitch representatives with the company, they expressed confidence in presenting a rating to the company, Abdullayev said.

Azerbaijan is currently exporting crude oil and natural gas to various countries. The country has the potential to export gas to countries, such as Russia, Iran, Georgia, Turkey and Greece. All offers are being considered, Abdullayev said. "The preference will be given to the most profitable project with minimal risks."

Exploration and drilling have been launched for new units, and as a result, Azerbaijan's proved gas reserves will reach up to five trillion cubic meters, said Abdullayev.

Volumes of SOCAR's Eurobonds emission preserve at announced level. But preparation operations on their issue were not held, he said. Debut issue is expected in the amount of $500 million, vice-president said. According to the international rate agencies, it is more acceptable.

Securities of the state oil company will cover five years. SOCAR's consultant on bond allocation is U.S Citibank. It suggests their allocation in the USA as there is great demand for them on U.S market. Five-six exchanges from different countries showed interest to bond allocation.

Plans on their issue for this year are connected with getting rate (contracts with two rate agencies have been signed) and conducting of the international audit within two years.

The State Oil Company held the first international audit as a result of activity in 2007. But the second will be held as a result of 2008. U.S company Miller & Land estimated reserves of hydrocarbon in SOCAR's fields. The company's report was approved by leadership of the state oil company.

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