OPEC+ deal can bring great commercial benefits to Azerbaijan: SOCAR's vice president
Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 21
By Azad Hasanli – Trend:
Azerbaijan's participation in the OPEC/non-OPEC production agreement will bear fruit beyond stabilizing oil prices, with state-owned producer SOCAR expecting further commercial cooperation with other members of the coalition, Elshad Nassirov, SOCAR's vice president, marketing and investments, said in an interview with S&P Global Platts, Trend reports.
The agreement has benefited Azerbaijan's state budget, which is heavily dependent on energy prices, and has helped SOCAR plan its capital spending, Elshad Nassirov said. SOCAR has budgeted for an oil price of $60/b in 2019.
"Of course the biggest risk is the volatility of prices, but we are pretty sure that this year and next year the price will be stable, not going down below $60/b," Nassirov said.
His comments followed meetings with energy ministers and company officials on the sidelines of the OPEC/non-OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting held in Baku this week -- the first time the Caspian country has hosted such an event.
Nassirov said SOCAR continues to support Azerbaijan's participation in the agreement and does not expect the company to suffer any damage from holding back production.
The deal has increased contact between Azerbaijani and OPEC officials, which Nassirov said may lead to greater commercial cooperation. Saudi officials have taken part in several meetings to discuss expanding energy cooperation with Azerbaijan in recent weeks and last year Saudi Aramco opened an office in Baku.
"The fact that Saudi Aramco opened up a big office in Baku means that they are interested in Caspian Sea development and of course cooperation and possible investments of Saudi Aramco in the Caspian is not limited to the Azerbaijan sector only," Nassirov said.
He did not provide any details on specific cooperation projects.
Under the current OPEC/non-OPEC agreement, Azerbaijan has a voluntary production level of 776,000 b/d, which is 20,000 b/d below September 2018 volumes.