Azerbaijan plans to double oil output by 2010

Mar 28, 2007 02:00 AM

Azerbaijan plans to double its oil output by 2010, the energy minister said. Natik Aliyev said that the Caspian nation's crude production, which stood at 32.3 mm tons last year, or an average of 649,000 bpd, would reach 65 mm tons, or 1.31 mm bpd in 2010.
Aliyev said most of the oil would be produced at the Azeri-Chirac-Guneshli fields, which will also account for the bulk of the nation's natural gas output -- expected to reach 30 bn cm in 2010.

Crude supplies began last year via the $ 4 bn (EUR 3 bn) Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline that allows the West to tap oil from the Caspian Sea fields, estimated to hold the world's third-largest reserves, bypassing Russia and Iran.
Washington staunchly supported the 1,768-km (1,100-mile) pipeline as part of a strategy to tap sources of crude outside of the Middle East and draw the Caspian states away from Russia and closer to the West. A natural gas pipeline is also being considered.

Aliyev said that Azerbaijan would eventually control marketing and sales of gas from the Shah Deniz field.
"Norway's Statoil has served as the operator of Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company in the first stage of the Shah Deniz development, but the situation will change," he said. "Azerbaijan itself will conduct all talks on gas supplies to the European markets." He said that Azerbaijan would consider expanding the prospective gas pipeline network if Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan make a decision to build trans-Caspian pipelines that would carry their gas to Western markets via Azerbaijan.

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