By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Azerbaijan’s burgeoning oil and gas sector accounts for a huge share in the country’s GDP.
Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov stated that 740 million tons of oil has been extracted in Azerbaijan within 25 years, including eight months of this year, that is, since the signing of the contract on the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea in 1994.
He was speaking at a press conference devoted to the energy sector of the country held in Baku on September 19, Trend reported.
ACG is the largest oil and gas field in the Caspian Sea, covering more than 432 square kilometres. Proven oil reserves of ACG block of oil and gas fields are estimated at 1.2 billion tons, while gas reserves make 350 billion cubic meters.
A contract for the development of ACG block of oil and gas fields was signed in 1994 for 30 years. The recent agreement signed in 2017 provides for the development of the field until 2050.
He said that during this period, $101 billion was invested in the oil and gas sector, including $36 billion invested in ACG adding that 492 million tons of oil and 161 billion cubic meters of gas were produced from the ACG block.
Shahbazov noted that thanks to the signing of a new agreement on the development of the ACG block of oil and gas fields, investments may surpass $40 billion in the next 32 years.
Then, emphasizing the forecast oil production which predicts stable oil production at 39 million tons, he pointed out that maintaining a stable level of the extraction is the main task.
Shahbazov underlined that over the first eight months of this year, the country produced 23.1 billion cubic meters of gas, which recorded a growth of 18.8 percent in comparison with the same period in 2018.
In this period exports reached 7.2 billion cubic meters (an increase of 26.3 percent).
Electricity generation amounted to more than 15 billion kWh while electricity export grew by 29.01 percent to 913.3 million kWh, import - 102 million kWh, he added.
In 2018, Azerbaijan's electricity exports increased by 165.2 million kWh in comparison with 2017 (1.28 billion kWh), reaching almost 1.5 billion kWh.
Azerenergy is the main exporter of power in Azerbaijan. There are over 30 power plants on the possession balance of Azerenergy. The total power generation capacity of these stations exceeds 6,000 megawatts, which allows generating about 24 billion kWh of electricity annually.
Azerbaijan, which has been exporting power to neighboring countries for a long time, has already begun exporting energy to European countries.
Parviz Shahbazov stressed that the country’s electricity generation through renewable energy sources showed an impressive increase of 41.3 percent. He said according to the prognosis by 2050, the share of renewable sources in electricity production in Azerbaijan will reach 85 percent.
Touching on predictions regarding electricity production, Shahbazov noted that electricity production will go up by 3.6 percent compared to last year (26.1 billion kWh) and expected to grow by eight percent in 2020-2021.
The minister added the share of natural gas in electricity production is 92 percent, and renewable sources - eight percent.
Continuing the topic on renewable energy sources, Shahbazov said foreign companies are interested in projects of Azerbaijan related to renewable energy sources.
Shahbazov added that the proposals of these companies are currently under consideration.
He concluded that companies in Europe, China, Turkey, Japan, South Korea are ready to cooperate with Azerbaijan within this sphere.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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