(Details added, first version posted 19:09)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7
Under the previous tariffs for natural gas, Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR would be unable to maintain investments and gas production at a stable level, said Azerbaijan’s Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev.
He made the remarks at a plenary session of the Azerbaijani parliament in Baku Dec. 7 in discussions on the draft state budget and the concept of socio-economic development for 2017 and the next three years.
“To deliver the gas to consumers, SOCAR spends 140 manats for every 1,000 cubic meters. Taking into account that the average price of gas [for 1,000 cubic meters] is 90 manats, it turns out that the state oil company in this sphere is operating at a loss. SOCAR not only could not invest, but also could not keep gas production at a stable level,” the minister said.
It was even considered to provide SOCAR with funds from the state budget, he added.
Given the Azerbaijani president’s socially-oriented policy, optimal decision was taken to maximally protect the vulnerable segment of the country’s population.