Azerbaijani President: Multi-vector export infrastructure meets Azerbaijan's interests and supports neighboring markets
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 7 / Trend S. Aliyev /
At present, the proven gas reserves in Azerbaijan are estimated at 2.2 trillion cubic meters, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in his opening remarks to the 18th International "Oil and Gas, Refining and Petrochemicals" Exhibition and Conference in Baku.
"Taking into account that oil reserves in the country exceeded the initial projections twice, I can say with full confidence that natural gas reserves in the amount of 2.2 trillion cubic meters are a modest figure," President Aliyev said. "The forecasts are even higher. I am sure that large volumes of gas will be found as a result of drilling operations."
At present, Azerbaijan's energy policy is much more based on the gas factor, because large projects have been implemented in the country's oil sector. Afterwards, Azerbaijan intends to continue its policy of holding the stable oil production.
President Aliyev said at a time the Shah Deniz gas field discovered in Azerbaijan did not attract much attention in the world and Europe because much attention was not paid to the gas factor.
Thereafter, all parties realized the degree of influence of gas factor on energy security of the countries. Azerbaijan has implemented all necessary measures. In this case, opening the Shah Deniz field has become a very influential event in the world energy market.
"Our actions in the gas market are of purposeful nature," President Aliyev said. "The current multi-vector export infrastructure meets Azerbaijan's interests and supports neighboring markets. The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline was also an event of historical significance. Unless the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was built and this corridor was not opened and tested, then the gas corridor could afce problems."
Today, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline is a serious factor at regional and continental levels, the President said.
"Of course, we need big and reliable markets to efficiently use our rich gas fields," the President said. They are markets, regulated by the law, and the markets having demand for our gas. Azerbaijan implements the consistent policy in this direction. Today, we conduct a very active policy with the South Gas Corridor. The discussions have been held and concrete steps have been taken for several years."
Azerbaijan and the European Union signed a memorandum on cooperation in the energy sector in 2006. This document reflected the intention of both parties.
The EU and Azerbaijan signed another important document this January - a joint declaration on the South Gas Corridor. This declaration does not simply express intentions. It is a concrete document, which is under development. The EU and Azerbaijan have established a working group. It operates effectively.
"I hope that all necessary documents will be signed soon," the President said. "Thus, there will be a reason to start developing the second stage of the Shah Deniz field. I have no doubt that all objectives will be met. Our past, our history, the gained experience and political will show that we have implemented more complex projects and in more difficult conditions."
The President also stressed that "South Corridor" has a bright future. At present, Azerbaijan and Turkey are negotiating to resolve the issues of gas transit. These negotiations are nearing to completion.
"Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a protocol on gas transit in June last year," he said. "The document reflected all necessary issues. We hope that these items in the protocol are transformed into the final document. After signing a transit agreement, all obstacles will be eliminated to supply large volumes of Azerbaijani gas."
Today, Azerbaijan has enough gas reserves. They are enough for at least 100 years for Azerbaijan and other consumers.
President Aliyev said that the Umid large gas field discovered by Azerbaijani oil industry workers in late 2010 indicates that besides the Shah Deniz field, Azerbaijan has other large gas reserves. On the other hand, the importance of the Umid field is that it has been opened by Azerbaijani oil industry workers of the Azerbaijani State Oil Company.
"The experience gained by our oil industry workers, in cooperation with foreign companies, has given a concrete result," the President said. "SOCAR works on the Umid field both as an investor and as an operator. Discovering this field shows that there is enough gas in adjacent prospective areas."
The President voiced hope that gas fields will be explored at the next stages.