By Ayya Lmahamad
Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov has said that Azerbaijan plans to increase gas exports to Europe and Turkey to 16 billion cubic meters in 2022, Russian media have reported.
He made the remarks during the Russian Energy Week international forum held in Russia.
The minister noted the plans to supply 16 billion cubic meters of gas along the Southern Gas Corridor.
"In full, this volume will be reached next year. In particular, we will export gas to Turkey and Europe in the amount of 6 and 10 billion cubic meters, respectively," he said.
Shahbazov also noted that Azerbaijan and Turkey agreed on additional gas supplies in the amount of 3.5 billion cubic meters starting from 2023.
Cooperation with Lukoil
Speaking about cooperation with Lukoil, the minister noted that the company is interested not only in Azerbaijan's oil and gas fields but projects in the alternative energy field are also discussed.
"Lukoil is our long-time partner, we work closely. This [Shah Deniz] is not our first project. Lukoil today is also interested not only in oil and gas fields but also in alternative energy. We are consulting on this," he said.
Earlier it was reported that Lukoil signed an agreement to purchase from Petronas a 15.5 percent stake in the Shah Deniz gas project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. The deal is expected to be closed after the fulfillment of preconditions, including the approval of Azerbaijan's State Oil Company. Lukoil's share in the project will increase from 10 percent to 25.5 percent after the deal is closed.
Azerbaijan's gas reserves
The minister stated that Azerbaijan has vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, which under certain conditions could also be used, Trend reported.
"Azerbaijan today produces and exports gas and is increasing its export capacity. The country has huge reserves in the Caspian Sea, which under certain conditions, with investments can also be used," he said.
Shahbazov also noted that high gas prices today raise the prices of other energy sources, including coal. He stressed that by reducing investments in the gas industry, countries use more coal and oil products, therefore causing more damage to the environment.
"This is what is happening today, and that is why we must use all available energy resources wisely. Gas is more environmentally friendly as compared to other fuel types. We see quite different forecasts for gas, which cause serious problems for many producers and consumers," the minister said.
Drawing attention to the strategic decisions and work carried out under the leadership of the Azerbaijani president in the direction of expanding the use of “green energy” in the country, the minister gave information about the current potential for the development of offshore wind energy. He noted that the technical potential, initially estimated at 157 MW, continues to be directed to the production of “green hydrogen” in the future.
Speaking about oil prices, Shahbazov noted that the current oil prices satisfy Azerbaijan, but the priority is their stability.
"As a producing country, this price certainly satisfies us. But the main thing is for this price to be stable," he said.
He added that Azerbaijan would not want higher oil prices, as "the prices should be comfortable not only for producer countries but also for consumer countries".
Shahbazov held a number of bilateral meetings within the Russian Energy Week International Forum.
During the meetings held separately with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak and Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov, the parties discussed the current state of cooperation in the fields of oil and gas, electro-energetics, implementation of joint projects and a number of other issues.
It was stressed that the energy cooperation between the two countries is developing in all directions. The sides discussed the existing policies in the field of renewable energy and implemented strategic projects. In addition, the importance of diversification of energy sources in order to ensure energy security was underlined.
At the meeting held with the Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, the sides exchanged views on the prospects of the OPEC+ agreement. The practical results of the crucial role of consensus among the OPEC+ countries in balancing the market were noted.
Shahbazov invited his counterpart to Azerbaijan to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony of the 240 MW wind power plant to be held in the near future.
At the meeting with the Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto, the issues arising from the cooperation in the oil, gas and green energy fields were discussed. The sides expressed their support for the development of existing relations between the energy regulatory bodies of the two countries.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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