AZERBAIJAN AIMS FOR 50 BLN
Azerbaijan can boost annual gas exports to 50bn m3 by 2050, deputy energy minister Natig Abbasov said recently.
Abbasov said that Azerbaijan's main goal is to increase the volume of production and natural gas export. "The works done in the country to increase gas production and implement the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) allow an increase in the volume of Azerbaijani gas export to 50bn m3/yr by 2050," the ministry's press office quoted him on May 5 as having said during a meeting with Otto Wolf of the Institute of Mining and Energy Law at Germany's University of the Ruhr at Bochum.
The deputy minister reminded his audience that Azerbaijani gas exports to the European market will start in 2019-2020 with gas to Turkey.
Azerbaijan currently produces about 29bn m3/yr of gas – including gas re-injected to produce oil – of which Shah Deniz Stage 1 (SD1) produces about 35%. The country is preparing to inaugurate SD2 with 400bn m3 reserves and 16bn m3/yr output capacity by 2018.
SD3, the biggest layer of Shah Deniz with 500bn m3 of reserves, is projected to become operational in 2032. Azerbaijan also plans to operate Shefeg-Asiman, Naxchivan, Araz-Alov-Sharg, Absheron, Umid and Babek gas fields by 2030.
At the meeting, Abbasov also mentioned the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania-Interconnection (Agri) project, a decade-old conceptual plan for exporting Azeri gas as LNG across the Black Sea to Europe. "As gas exports via the gas pipelines is much cheaper, the implementation of the Agri project is planned as a future element of the SGC," he noted.
Agri shareholders are Azerbaijan's state Socar, Georgia's COGC, Romanian state Romgaz and Hungarian state utility MVM, which in January 2011 established Agri LNG, with each owning a quarter-stake. Socar, whose gas would be marketed, chairs the board.
Agri envisages export of up to 8bn m3/yr, the first stage being 2bn m3/yr and the second and third stages doubling it each time. The export terminal will be at Kulevi on the Georgian Black Sea coast, where Socar already operates an oil export terminal, and the import terminal at Constanta in Romania.
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