SOFAZ earned huge money from Shah Deniz, ACG projects

By Aynur Jafarova

Azerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ has gained about $1.853 billion from 2007 to June 1, 2014 by implementing the development project of the giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea.

SOFAZ earned some $256 million as part of the Shah Deniz project from January 1 to June 1, SOFAZ told Trend Agency.

The Shah Deniz field, one of the world's largest gas-condensate fields, was discovered in 1999. Its reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas. Overall, the field has proved to be a secure and reliable supplier of gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Europe.

SOFAZ also said from 2001 to June 1 it gained over $101.63 billion by implementing the project of developing the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

The fund received over $6.598 billion within the ACG project from January 1 to June 1, SOFAZ said.

The ACG block of fields has been active since 1997. Production started from the Chirag part of the field and continued successfully, followed by the Azeri Project; Central Azeri production started in February 2005, West Azeri began producing in December 2005, and East Azeri came on stream in October 2006.

The Deepwater Gunashli section launched production in April 2008.

SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, was established in 1999 with assets worth $271 million.

The main aims of the fund are accumulation of revenues, investment of assets abroad to minimize negative impacts on economy, preventing the 'Dutch disease', ensuring savings for future generations, and maintaining the current social and economic standards in the country.

The assets of SOFAZ has increased by 2.07 percent as of April 1, 2014 compared to early 2014 ($35,877.5 million), standing at $36,618.4 million.

Since the first quarter of 2012, the fund started purchasing gold, and the amount of the purchased gold reached to 30 tons 175 kg (970,146 ounces) as of April 1.