Umid gas field to bring $45bn of net income, expert

Mon 06 Dec 2010 01:53 GMT | 05:53 Local Time

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News.Az interviews Ilham Shaban, head of the Oil Research Center.

How would you comment on the opening of the Umid gas field in the Caspian Sea?

This was mostly an expected event. As is known, the exploration drilling was financed by SOCAR and conducted on the Umid-1 platform. Azerbaijan once offered different countries of the world to take part in this project but they were mostly interested in oil. In addition, for that period the gas price on the world markets was not high, while infrastructure to supply Azerbaijani gas to the world markets was absent. Some time passed and we see the picture cardinally changed. The opening of the Umid gas field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea proves that Azerbaijan can complete works on opening of other gas fields successfully. This proves that Azerbaijan can produce additional half trillion cubic meters of gas.

How will this influence the export potential of Azerbaijani gas?

The issue of construction of new gas pipelines, in addition to the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline may be raised in such developments. BP-Azerbaijan president Rashid Javanshir has already stated that within the framework of Stage-2 they are planning the parallel construction of another gas pipeline rather than the expansion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline. He did not specify the details of this project, but I can suggest that with two export pipelines in the western direction, whose capacity can be brought to 30bn cubic meters, they can offer their services to other parties as well.

Will chances to implement the Nabucco project increase after the opening of the Umid gas field?

There is no direct link here since the Nabucco project is the infrastructure offering its services for different markets. It means that the readiness and capacity of western consumers to buy large volumes of Azerbaijani gas on the long-term basis is the priority here. Only in case this factor exists, it will be possible to speak about the need to search ways of supply of Azerbaijani gas to western consumers, including through Nabucco project. The chances for implementation of the Nabucco project are growing if such big consumers of gas, as Germany and France, set their claims in the purchase of Azerbaijani gas.

Is it possible to calculate the possible revenues of Azerbaijan from the opening of the Umid gas field at least approximately?

As you know, first vice president of the State Oil Company Khoshbakht Yusifzade already said at the opening of the Umid gas field in the Caspian Sea at the meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and SOCAR leadership that there are  200bn cubic meters of gas and 30-40m tons of condensate here. Considering the tendency of increase in the world gas price, like the increase in demand for its consumption by leading European states, Aezrbaijan may get some $50bn by most approximate estimates. The development of this gas field took Azerbaijan some $5bn, I think. Thus, the net income from the opening of the Umid gas field will make at least $45bn.

Akper Hasanov




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