By Aynur Jafarova
Azerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ has gained more than $1.7 billion from 2007 to April 1, 2014 by implementing the development project of the giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea.
SOFAZ received some $115.6 million as part of the Shah Deniz project from January 1 to April 1, SOFAZ said.
The Shah Deniz field, one of the world's largest gas-condensate fields, was discovered in 1999. Its reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas. Overall, the field has proved to be a secure and reliable supplier of gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Europe.
SOFAZ also said from 2001 to April 1 it has gained over $98.9 billion by implementing the project on developing the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
The fund received over $3.885 billion within the ACG project from January 1 to April 1, SOFAZ said.
The ACG block of fields has been producing since 1997. Production started from the Chirag part of the field and continued successfully, followed by the Azeri Project; Central Azeri production started in February 2005, West Azeri began producing in December 2005, and East Azeri came on stream in October 2006.
The Deepwater Gunashli section launched production in April 2008.
SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, was established in 1999 with assets worth $271 million.
The main purposes of the fund are the accumulation of funds and placement of assets abroad to minimize negative impacts on economy, prevent the 'Dutch disease', ensure savings for future generations, and maintain the current social and economic standards in the country.
The assets of SOFAZ totaled $36.319 billion as of March 1, 2014.
In 2013, some 3.3 percent of SOFAZ's investment portfolio was invested in gold, 1.8 percent in real estate and 4.1 percent in shares.