Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 27 / Trend /
Azerbaijan is ready to participate in the Odessa-Brody pipeline project, since the country intends to further diversify energy exports, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with the Ukrainian mass media on the eve of his official visit to Ukraine.
"We are ready to participate in this project, as we are actively working on the diversification of energy supplies - whether oil or gas. And, of course, if Ukraine desires, these issues can be resolved more efficiently and quickly," Aliyev was quoted by the Den newspaper as saying.
Aliyev said certain issues have already been resolved. Sarmatia Company was established, feasibility studies were carried out and the Azerbaijani oil is delivered to the Ukrainian refineries. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss everything in detail again and to take certain decisions to make a new push and systematize these yet disparate projects.
Azerbaijan's entire oil export potential is realized through various pipelines, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, the Baku-Supsa and the Baku-Novorossiysk routes.
"That is, the entire oil that we export is sold through these pipelines. Thus, we do not need to say that today we have any additional amounts that are nowhere to sale. And even if we increase production, which we intend to do, then these pipeline's existing capacities allow us to transport oil via them in these three directions," Aliyev added.
The President said Azerbaijan and Ukraine are not linked with pipeline, so the country's oil is now delivered to the Ukrainian oil refineries from Ceyhan, which actually is not close. If oil is delivered from Black Sea ports, the project economics would be more effective. Therefore, we must very seriously calculate the economic aspect.
"In terms of political support, Azerbaijan provides it," Aliyev noted.
Regarding the issue of Azerbaijani gas delivery to European markets, Aliyev said: "There was a time when some media outlets actively discussed issues related to our oil resources, urging that Azerbaijan does not have oil and the Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan will never be built, because the pipeline will not be able to operate at full capacity without the oil of third countries. Of course, we knew that it is not true and built the pipeline, which today is the only energy corridor linking the Caspian resources with the world markets through the Mediterranean coast and our oil resources allow us to use this pipeline fully. When we started building it Azerbaijan's oil production was somewhere around 15-16 million tons. Today, Azerbaijan produces 50 million tons. "
Aliyev said the existence of reliable export routes determines the investment in the oil and gas industry. Today, the country's natural gas reserves allow the country to feel very confident, despite the sponsored publications.
"I must say that Azerbaijan's proven gas reserves hit two trillion cubic meters. However, real volumes, as we call them based on projections of our geologists, is about five trillion cubic meters. That is, it will allow us to export gas in large volumes for decades and even more than a hundred years," the President said.
The current level of gas production is around 30 billion cubic meters and the domestic consumption is about 10-11 billion cubic meters. Azerbaijan can increase gas output to 40 or 50 billion cubic meters in a short time. "But this requires contracts," he said. "Thus, of course, we will consider the cooperation between our countries in this area (and it was never seriously discussed in the previous years), if there is mutual interest."
Aliyev expressed his approval of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic's (SOCAR) participation in the retail sale of petroleum products in Ukraine and the opening of its branded petrol stations.
"I am very pleased that SOCAR is investing in this area. Our company is planning to expand its activities not only in Odessa, but also in other Ukrainian cities. Of course, the further development of this sphere of our cooperation will depend on how well the project will proceed. I think that this area of our relations has good prospects. So here, I think we have everything in order," President Aliyev said.