Azerbaijan verges on new oil boom

Jun 11, 2001 02:00 AM

Azerbaijan is verging on a new oil boom in which over $ 9 bn will be invested in its oil industry over three years and large amounts of oil and gas will be exported, Natik Aliyev, president of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), told.
The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku- Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, full scale development of the Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli oil fields and production of early gas in the Shakh-Deniz field will start nearly simultaneously, he said.

BP will be in charge of all these projects, Aliyev said. The company has never carried out investment projects of such a scale over so short a period, he said. "I am confident that in Shakh-Deniz, we will break the world record in the time of starting production. Such projects usually take eight to ten years, but we intend to start pumping gas to Turkey within five years," Aliyev said.
The international exhibition Neftegaz Kaspy-2001, where 120 out of the total of 337 companieswere represented for the first time, has confirmed the growing interest in Azerbaijan's oil and gas reserves, Aliyev said. The favourable investment climate in the country and SOCAR's honouring its contractual commitments keep that interest alive, he said.

SOCAR is the largest taxpayer in the country, Aliyev said. It paid 525 bn manats in 1997, 650 bn in 1998, 800 bn in 1999 and 1.3 t in 2000, he said. In 2001, the company will pay 1.45 t manats, an equivalent of nearly $ 330 mm, he said.

Source: The Times of Central Asia
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