By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan and the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan have discussed the draft agreement on Intergovernmental Cooperation over the joint exploration of Dostlug field in the Caspian Sea during the third meeting of the Joint Working Group set up in January.
The meeting that aimed at determining the next steps over Dostlug’s exploration, was co-chaired by Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov and Batyr Amanov, Turkmenistan’s Minister of State and Chairman of Turkmengaz State Concern.
The Joint Working Group was established to prepare and verify a draft Intergovernmental Agreement regulating cooperation between the parties on joint exploration, development, explotation of the hydrocarbon resources of the Dostlug field.
The memorandum of understanding over the joint exploration of Dostlug gas field was signed by the two countries on January 21. According to estimates of experts, a once-disputed gas Dostlug gas field contains natural gas and 60-70 million tons of oil.
Discovered in 1986 by Azerbaijani specialists, the Dostlug field locates on the maritime border between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on January 21 that the signed agreement opens a new page in the development of the Caspian's hydrocarbon resources.
"This project will contribute to the strengthening of the energy security of our countries, as well as our neighbors. This project opens up great export opportunities, thereby contributing to the growth of the well-being of our peoples," the president said.
In turn, Turkmenistan President noted that the signing of the memorandum marks a new stage in the energy cooperation between two countries in the Caspian Sea.
The deal will enable future transport of Turkmen hydrocarbons to Europe via Azerbaijan, thereby bolstering Azerbaijan’s position as a regional energy hub and Europe’s energy provider.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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