By Nigar Abbasova
Resource-rich Azerbaijan plans to produce more gas and less oil in 2017.
Energy Minister Natig Aliyev announced about this while talking to Natural Gas Europe, further adding that the country intends to increase gas extraction by 0.8 percent up to 29.561 bcm in 2017.
“In 2016, we produced 29.331 bcm of gas, while some 18.714 bcm fell to a share of commercial gas. The figure is 3.9 percent less than in 2015, as more gas was required for re-injection at the Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli (ACG) oilfield to maintain crude oil production. As of January 1, the volumes of gas stored in underground facilities stood at 1.167 bcm,” he said.
The total volume of gas export in 2016 stood at 7.78bcm, recording a decrease of 625million cubic meters as compared to figures of 2015, according to a combination of official statistics and NGW’s survey.
Aliyev went on saying that the country plans to complete the second phase of Shah Deniz gas field, expected to become operational next year, as well as keeping the Shah Deniz 1 output high.
“This year, we plan to extract over 10 bcm of gas from Shah Deniz, as compared to 9.9 bcm last year.”
Azerbaijan’s proven gas reserves as of early 2016 amounted to 1.1 trillion cubic meters, which accounts for 0.6 percent of global proven gas reserves, according to BP's estimates.
The country holds over three trillion cubic meters of gas reserves which help develop the country's export potential. The Shah Deniz natural gas and condensate field started producing in late 2006, making Azerbaijan a net gas exporter.
While the main focus is on the Shah-Deniz field with estimated gas reserves at 1.2 trillion cubic meters, the country possesses additional significant gas fields such as Absheron, Umid, Babek and Nakhchivan, of which Absheron field is projected to be commenced in 2021.
Non-OPEC Azerbaijan is among the producers committed to contribute to the stabilization of the situation in the energy market and restoration of a supply-demand ratio.
Aliyev said that the country, which has already reduced its production by 35,000 bpd, is fully committed to its obligations under the oil deal reached in late 2016. He mentioned that average level of production in the country currently amounts to 789,000 bpd (in line with the pledge).
“Azerbaijan is ready for additional reduction of oil output should such a decision is made by other major producers to support the process,” he said.
The country revised its forecast for oil output, following the struck of the first since 2001 deal between OPEC and non-OPEC states to curtail oil output jointly.
The average daily oil production in 2017 will amount to 800,000-807,000 barrels. The forecasted oil output in the country for 2017 stands at about 39.797 million tons, while the figure is 3.7 percent less than in 2016.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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