A new era began in Azerbaijan and in the region as a whole after signing the "Contract of the Century" 26 years ago, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said.
Shahbazov made the remark during a videoconference of the secretariat of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party dedicated to “The Contract of the Century" and the Modern Realities of Azerbaijan”, Trend reports on Sept. 18.
The minister said that this, in its essence, was one of the most important events in the history of Azerbaijan's independence.
“Azerbaijan’s today's place in the world differs from that which was 26 years ago,” Shahbazov added. "Today, Azerbaijan from a country with the weak, unstable, socio-economic situation, which during that period was taking the first uncertain steps on the path to independence, has turned into the leader of the region, creator of global energy and communication projects, a steadily developing country with high prestige on international arena.”
“The achievements that have raised our country to this level are based on the "Contract of the Century",” the minister added. “If gaining independence in 1991 was the official confirmation that Azerbaijan is entitled to be master of its own destiny, then the "Contract of the Century" became the practical evidence.”
“The signing of the "Contract of the Century" thanks to determination, high authority and foresight of national leader Heydar Aliyev ensured Azerbaijan the long-term development of hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian Sea on the basis of international cooperation, the use of advanced experience, new technologies and investments of giant oil and gas companies," Shahbazov said.
“The energy projects have made Azerbaijan an integral part of the global energy security system, a reliable partner,” the minister added. “Azerbaijan realized the idea of diversifying the energy routes in the region with the help of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export gas pipeline, which is the contribution of the "Contract of the Century".”
"Then, the signing of an agreement on the Shah Deniz gas field, as well as the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum export gas pipeline with further implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project continued this trend,” the minister said. “Foresight in forecasting of such goals in Azerbaijan as diversification of energy routes and energy security, today found confirmation in the realities of our modern world.”
“All these continuing achievements of the "Contract of the Century" are the results of the purposeful energy policy of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the selfless labor of the Azerbaijani oil workers within the implementation of this policy and our effective cooperation and reliable partnership with international oil companies,” Shahbazov said.
“Thus, with the extension of the agreement on the development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields until 2050 three years ago, thanks to the results of our joint work with foreign partners over the past 26 years and the political will of President Aliyev, this contract, in fact, received the status "A contract of two centuries"," the minister said.
Shahbazov stressed that the coronavirus pandemic set new challenges for humanity, has caused great changes in the existing geopolitical order and the energy situation of the world.
"Azerbaijan's entry to a new level in its development will also depend on bringing its energy policy in line with the modern requirements, maintaining the relevance of its position as an energy center in terms of new geopolitical realities, challenges in the economy, energy and environmental security,” the minister said.
“In this regard, the policy linking the national security of our country with the formulas of global security through the "Contract of the Century" and specific projects emanating from it is expected to play an important role,” Shahbazov said.
“From the moment of commissioning until September 2020, 516 million tons of oil were produced at the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields, Azerbaijan exported 305 million tons of oil produced from these fields to the world market, more than 48 billion cubic meters of associated gas were supplied to the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan SOCAR, and in general, the total revenues from the project reached $145.8 billion,” the minister said.
“The development of deposits until 2050, the launch of new projects will allow us to consolidate this success for 30 more years,” Shahbazov said.
“Given that the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields are the country's main source of income and that the oil and gas sector will continue to play an important role in Azerbaijan's economy in the coming years, the sustainability in upstream operations is of strategic importance,” the minister said.
“The presence of such a contract in terms of declining demand for oil, low prices, when many international energy companies in the period of energy transformation are abandoning oil and gas projects, adopting the strategies in which the preference is given to the renewable energy sources, is a fairly reliable guarantor," Shahbazov said.
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