Socar estimates proven hydrocarbon reserves at 4.5 billion tons

Socar estimates proven hydrocarbon reserves at 4.5 billion tons

Azerbaijan`s proven hydrocarbon reserves are estimated at 4.5 billion tons of equivalent fuel, head of the state oil company Socar, Rovnag Abdullayev, said in Baku on Tuesday.

Addressing a forum on the construction of a huge complex for oil and gas refining and petrochemical production in Azerbaijan, Abdullayev said the country`s projected hydrocarbon reserves are estimated at 10 billion tons of equivalent fuel, according to preliminary data.

Abdullayev said great successes have been achieved in the field of oil and gas production as a result of the resource-rich South Caucasus republic`s cooperation with foreign partners. In particular, oil production has increased six-fold to 50 million tons per year. Natural gas production in 2004-2011 increased by more than five times – from 5 billion cubic meters per year to 26 billion cubic meters.

At present, daily oil production in the country amounts to about 1 million barrels.

Abdullayev said that currently, preparations for implementing the second phase of the development of Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea is nearing completion as part of the effort to increase gas production in the country.

The Socar president said that at the same time, his company has far-reaching plans to boost gas production in Azerbaijan. In recent years, gas fields such as Umid and Absheron have been discovered, and there are great expectations from the perspective structures Nakhchivan, Shafag-Asiman, Zafar and Mashal.

Abdullayev said Azerbaijan`s projected gas production is to reach 30 billion cubic meters a year by 2015 and further hit 50 billion cubic meters by 2025. According to him, the rise in output will increase the country`s importance for both regional and European energy security.

“Increase in gas production in the country is of great importance against the backdrop of predictions on a growth of Europe`s dependence on imported gas,“ Abdullayev said.

He noted that the company is currently choosing a route for gas supplies to Europe, and work is underway to realize the idea of building the Trans-Anatolia gas pipeline, or TANAP, which will allow to transport Azerbaijani gas from the Georgian-Turkish border to Turkey`s border with Europe.

“This pipeline will allow meeting gas demand of a brotherly country and Europe,“ Abdullayev said.

During his speech, Abdullayev stressed the importance of Tuesday`s forum in terms of implementation of the project of building the new oil and gas refining and petrochemicals complex in Azerbaijan.

The construction of the 14 billion manat (over $17.8 billion) refinery is due to begin in the first quarter of 2013. Socar and Azerbaijan`s state oil fund Sofar, the body that holds proceeds from crude exports, will be the main shareholders in the project. More than $5 billion in investments is to be attracted to the project at the expense of foreign banks.

The facility, which will be located 60 km away from the capital Baku, is due to be commissioned by the end of 2020.


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