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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great Britain accounts for half of investments into Azerbaijan's economy

28 April 2008 - Today.Az - Great Britain keeps leading by volume of external investments into Azerbaijani economy. Day.Az reports with reference to the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan that AZN 568,291,900 was invested to Azerbaijan in quarter 1 of 2008 (5% lower as compared to the due period of the last year) with 49.4% or AZN 281,354,400 falling on Great Britain/ At the same time the volume of investments of the British companies has risen by 2.5%. It is followed by the United States -AZN 123,309,000 (10.9% lower as compared to the last year), or 21.7% of all foreign investments, Japan -64,626,300 (11.2% lower), or 11.4%, Norway AZN 40,757,600 (11.6% lower) or 7.2% and the first five ends with Turkey AZN 32,48,200 (11.1% lower) or 5.6%. France invested 0.8%, Germany 0.4%, Russia o.3%, Arabic Emirates and Switzerland 0.2% each, Iran Saudi Arabia Italy 0.1%, Austria AZN 240,400 and Singapore AZN 23,200. Among financial institutions the World Bank is a leader in the first quarter of 2008 with its AZN 8,300,000. It is followed by the Asian Development Bank with AZN 2,500,000, Kuwait Economic Development Fund with AZN 1.700,000 and Islamic Development Bank with AZN 1,200,000.

Azerbaijan displays no interest in Trans-Afghan gas pipeline project

28 April 2008 - ARA News - Azerbaijan displays no interest in the project of construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, as told Azerbaijan's Minister of Industry and Energy Natiq Aliyev. He said because the pipeline passes a region of tensions, its construction is unreal at present. "Perhaps, the project will be implemented after the situation in the region is improved". It should be noted that Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India signed a framework agreement on construction of the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline to supply Turkmen gas to South Asia. The construction is to be initiated in 2010 and the first gas supplies are scheduled for 2015. The cost of the project is estimated at $7,600,000,000. The gas pipeline will extend to 1.68 thousand km and its capacity will be 350 mln cubic meters of gas per day. It should be reminded that the idea of the gas pipeline construction via Afghanistan has existed for over 10 years, yet tensions in Afghanistan hindered its implementation. Turkmenistan, which has the largest gas reserves in Central Asia, tries to find ways of diversification of supplies as it has the only way of its exportation by the Russian Gazprom's pipeline system.

Shah Deniz gas prices to change

23 April 2008 - Today.Az - Prices on gas produced from Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan will change beginning from April 15. The due announcement was made by SOCAR vice president Elshad Nasirov on Wednesday. "Beginning from April 15 of 2008, all volumes of natural gas, supplied to Turkey from Shah Deniz gas condensate field, will be sold by new price. The talks are currently held with Turkish partners but the time of completion of talks is not known. Anyway, beginning from April 15, the price on gas will change regardless of terms of talks", the vice president noted. "New price for Azerbaijani gas will be calculated by a new formula. He said the price limit will not be set while establishing a new price as it has been made earlier. While concluding the agreement on gas sale and purchase with Turkey, the lower limit was set in the amount of $70 per 1000 cubic meters and the upper limit $120 per 1000 cubic meters", noted he.

SOCAR president receives US deputy secretary of state

22 April 2008 - Day.Az - SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev received deputy US secretary of state Ruben Jeffrey. Day.Az reports with reference to the press service for SOCAR that Abdullayev informed the visitor about energy projects, implemented in our country. He noted that currently the works are carried out for transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe. He said Azerbaijan has an infrastructure for transportation of Middle Asian gas to the European markets and is ready to present it for the purpose. Abdullayev also informed the visitor about the program of SOCAR development and future plans on oil and gas extraction. In turn, Jeffrey noted that the State Oil Company plays a significant role in the region. He said the activity promises good future to Azerbaijan. He said the United State will provide further assistance to Azerbaijan in energy projects implementation.

BP begins oil production from Azerbaijan's Gunashli project

22 April 2008 - Thomson Financial News - BP begins oil production from Azerbaijan's Gunashli projectBP Plc said oil production has started from the deepwater Gunashli complex in Azerbaijan. Production will increase through 2008 as more wells are brought on stream. Peak output from the site is expected to reach 320,000 barrels a day, bringing the total Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) production to over 1 million barrels a day, it said. Production start-up at Gunashli, which comprises a drilling and production platform bridge linked to a water injection and gas compression platform, completes the third phase of development of the ACG field. 'The start up of the DWG (Deep Water Gunashli) complex is an achievement we can all be proud of. This achievement maintains our track record of on schedule project delivery for the development of the ACG field,' said Bill Schrader, president of BP (nyse: BP - news - people )-Azerbaijan. BP is the project operator with a 34.1 percent stake, while partners Chevron (nyse: CVX - news - people ) Corp owns 10.2 percent, Socar 10 percent, Inpex 10 pct, StatoilHydro 8.6 percent, ExxonMobil Corp (nyse: XOM - news - people ) 8 percent, TPAO 6.8 percent, Devon 5.6 percent, Itochu 3.9 percent, and Hess (nyse: HES - news - people ) 2.7 percent.

Baku-Tbilisi-Erzirum pipeline transports 1,200,000,000 cubic meters of gas in Q1

21 April 2008 - Day.Az - In the first quarter the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzirum pipeline transported 1,200,000,000 cubic meters of gas. In the first quarter of 2008 the main pipelines of Azerbaijan transported 11,800,000 tons of oil and 2,600,000,000 cubic meters of gas. Day.Az reports with reference to the State Statistical Committee, the volume of oil transportation is 35.6% higher as compared to the same period of the last year and gas -80.7%. 3/4 oil transportation via the pipeline fall on Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and through the reported period 8,800,000 tons of oil were pumped from Baku within the said period. The South Caucasus gas pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzirum) transported 27.6% or 1,200,000,000 cubic meters of gas.

Azerbaijan raises share in Azeri-Chyrag-Guneshli perspective structure development

18 April 2008 - Today.Az - The share of the Azerbaijani government in the project of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli perspective structure development has risen from 50 up to 75% since April 1. The due announcement was made by Shahmar Movsumov, chief executive of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan. He said the share of the consortium has reduced from 50% down to 25% as compared to the beginning of the year. The said process depends on oil prices on the world market. The head of the fund also noted that the share of the Azerbaijani government in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli project made up 25% in 2007.

Greece negotiating on Azerbaijani gas supplies

16 April 2008 - ARA News - Greece has agreed to join the Kremlin-backed South Stream gas pipeline project, further boosting energy ties with Russia, Greece’s Development Minister Christos Folias was quoted by Reuters as saying. Folias, who has also had talks on gas provision with several other countries, including Azerbaijan and Algeria, said he did not think Greece was increasing its energy dependence on Moscow by joining South Stream. "Russia is a very big energy player and the positive ties we currently enjoy can only be a good thing. We have agreed to be part of the South Stream project. We are now discussing technical details to formulate a document that we can then sign. The political will is there from both sides (Russia and Greece)" he added. In order not to dissatisfy advocates of the US and EU-backed Nabucco pipeline, designed to eventually pump 31 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe mainly from the Caspian region, Christos Folias said he did not view the pipelines as rivals. "I don’t want to see them as athletes competing against each other. I would say they are complementing each other and are offering Europe multiple energy providers, which is good", he noted. The pipeline, which will be jointly built by Gazprom, will eventually take 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas a year to southern Europe, with Greece becoming a transit state on the southern arm of the pipeline pumping gas to Italy. The pipeline will run from Russia via a 900-km underwater pipeline across the Black Sea to Europe. Fellow Balkan nations Serbia and Bulgaria, as well as Hungary, recently joined the South Stream project. The South Stream project is seen as a rival to the planned Nabucco pipeline. South Stream project is estimated to cost twice as much as Nabucco. The US and EU support the idea of taking Turkmen and Kazakh gas via the Trans-Caspian submarine pipeline [Tengiz-Turkmenbashy-Baku (Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan)] route] to Turkey through the South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline), and onward to Europe via Nabucco Pipeline. The Nabucco Gas Pipeline is a 3,300-kilometre (2,050-mile) project that will transport the Caspian gas from Turkey to Austria via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. Five-billion-euro (7.4-billion-dollar) pipeline will pump 31 billion cubic meters of gas each year from the Middle East to Europe from at least 2012. It is likely to deliver the first gas to Europe in 2013.

International Conference GUAM Development Strategy to take place in Baku

15 April 2008 - Today.Az - An international conference on "GUAM Development Strategy" will be held in Baku by the Azerbaijan Banks Association in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry in late May, said ABA executive manager Farhad Aliyev. He said the decision to arrange the conference was adopted last week at the ABA session. The conference is expected to be attended by leaders of the banking associations of the GUAM states, representatives of business circles as well as Foreign Ministries. It should be noted that ABA was founded in March of 1990. Currently the structure includes 44 banks and 4 non-banking organizations.

Turkmenistan agrees to give at least 10 billion cubic meters to Europe via Azerbaijan

14 April 2008 - ARA News - Turkmenistan has agreed to supply 10 billion cubic meters of gas per annum to the European Union via the Caspian Sea, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told the Financial Times after the EU-Central Asian meeting on April 9-10. She said it was "a very important first step forward", but noted it was not a "vast quantity". As to the technical part of transferring the gas to Europe, Turkmenistan would have to weigh up options of either building a direct pipeline between off-shore installations in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, building a link connecting the two countries through Kazakhstan or compress the gas into liquid form and transfer it via tankers to Baku. The Turkmen government’s official website didn’t give details and the amount agreed in the meeting. The website reads that Turkmenistan and the EU signed a "memorandum on cooperation in the energy sphere", “Turkmenistan is interested in expanding export routes" and "concerned partners are invited to participate in large projects." Experts insist that Turkmenistan’s hesitation chiefly comes from the short-term view that Turkmen-Russian gas deal (envisions selling up to 80 billion cubic meters of gas to Russia per year) is more promising than a yet-unready project and Gazprom’s promise to pay “European market price” to Central Asian gas. The US and EU support the idea of taking Turkmen and Kazakh gas via the Trans-Caspian submarine pipeline [Tengiz-Turkmenbashy-Baku (Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan)] route] to Turkey through the South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline), and onward to Europe via Nabucco Pipeline. The Nabucco Gas Pipeline is a 3,300-kilometre (2,050-mile) project that will transport the Caspian gas from Turkey to Austria via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. The pipeline consortium - Nabucco Gas Pipeline International Ltd. is equally owned (16.67% each) by Austria’s OMV, Hungary’s MOL, Turkey’s Botas, Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz and Romania’s Transgaz and Germany’s RWE. Five-billion-euro (7.4-billion-dollar) pipeline to feed 31 billion cubic meters of gas each year from the Middle East to Europe from 2012 at the earliest. It is likely to deliver the first gas to Europe in 2013.

BTC pipeline pumps over 2,000,000 tons of Azeri oil in March

10 April 2008 - Today.Az - The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline pumped 2,899,938 tons of Azeri oil in March. Day.Az reports with reference to the press service for the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan that the said pipeline transported 8,780,530 tons of oil in the first three months of this year. On the whole, the BTC pipeline has pumped 46,444,175 tons of oil since the moment of its commissioning until April 1 of this year.

Azerbaijan's strategic monetary reserves to reach $10,000,000,000

09 April 2008 - Day.Az - The strategic monetary reserves will reach $10,000,000,000 in the near future, said Rufat Aslanly, deputy chairman of the National Bank of Azerbaijan, Day.Az reports. He said the reserves have risen by 4.5 times through the last 4 years and topped $7,000,000,000 as of early 2008 and such growth dynamics will be observed in 2008-2009. He added that the National Bank of Azerbaijan carried out intervention on the monetary market of Azerbaijan in the amount of $120,000,000 in the first quarter of this year.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Baku-Ceyhan pipeline's capacity currently making up 875,000 barrels per day

02 April 2008 - Today.Az – Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will pump 1,000,000 barrels of oil daily by the end of 2008, BTC Turkish manager Jan Sufi said, Day.Az reports with reference to Reuters. He said, the pipeline currently transports 875,000 barrels of oil. "By the end of this year we will pass to the full capacity of the pipeline -1,000,000 barrels", he said. It should be noted that this will make up nearly 50,000,000 tons per year. In period of maximal activeness the Ceyhan terminal will ship 1-2 tankers daily. All workds on raising the pipeline capacity up to 1,200,000 barrels of oil daily, which will require less than $100,000,000, will complete in 2008. "There is a plan to raise the capacity of the pipeline up to 1,600,000 barrels of oil daily in 2010-2012", Jan Sufi said.

BTC production set for boosting

Pumping it up: the BTC pipeline will see capacity increased to 1.2 million bpd by 200931 March 2008 - Upstream staff - The BP-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) is to have its capacity pumped up to 1.2 million barrels per day for 2009. This year the pipeline is to see production boosted from the current 875,000 bpd to 1 million bpd. Meanwhile, production could be pushed further to 1.6 million by 2012-2013, said BTC Turkey manager Can Suphi to Reuters. The lion's share of the pipeline's oil comes from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli offshore project in the Caspian Sea, before being routed through Georgia and Turkey. BP owns 30.1% of the BTC, while Socar holds 25%. Other shareholders include Chevron, ConocoPhillips, StatoilHydro, ENI and Total.

Ilham Aliyev: "Poverty rate has been reduced from 49% to 16% through the past four years in Azerbaijan"

01 April 2008 - Day.Az - President of Azerbaijan received participants of the session of the Executive Committee of the International Anti-corruption association, held in Baku, Day.Az reports with reference to the press service for the President. Highly assessing the participation of Azerbaijan's representative in the Executive Committee of the Organization, which unites over 140 countries, I.Aliyev expressed confidence about the successful conduction of a session in Baku. I.Aliyev noted that adoption of a law on combat with corruption in Azerbaijan in 2004 and ratification of the state program encouraged formation of a stable legislative basis of our country in the said sphere. The President noted that administrative measures are being taken for removal of problems in this sphere and discrimination in the sphere of combat with corruption is being prevented. "Azerbaijan continues successful cooperation in this sphere. Our country has joined the extractive industries transparency initiative, The State Oil Fund has been honored with the best award of the United nations for contributions in this sphere", President of Azerbaijan noted. While mentioning the reduction in corruption rate in Azerbaijan through the last few years and the rise in the share of private sector in the dynamically developing economy, currently making up 80%, I.Aliyev reminded that the poverty rate had fallen down from 49% to 16% through the last four years. Tzya Chunvan, president of China's International association of anti-corruption bodies and former prosecutor general, thanked the President for receiving the session participants. He noted that Azerbaijan's achievements, attained under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, cause admiration.

International conference on combat with corruption to be held in Baku

30 March 2008 - Today.Az - An international conference on unification of efforts in combat with corruption started in Baku on Tuesday. "Creation of an anti-corruption department under the General Prosecution has become an important stage in government's combat with corruption", Kamran Aliyev, chief of the said department, told Day.Az. He announced that 102 criminal cases of 198 officials, charged with bribery, abuse of powers and other misdeeds, have been completed in the result of steps undertaken by the department since 2005 and preliminary investigation is carried out on 28 criminal cases. Fikret Mamedov, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Justice, opening the session, said that complex measures against corruption are undertaken in the country. "Today's arrangement will reveal new priorities in this direction", the Minister considers. "Azerbaijan is one of the leading country by its economic growth rates and the high level of economic growth, in turn, creates favorable conditions for corruption", Mamedov noted.

Highly productive well commissioned in Guneshli field

30 March 2008 - Day.Az - Highly productive well No 244 has been commissioned at platform No 13 of Guneshli field. Day.Az reports with reference to the press service for SOCAR that the well produces 140 tons of oil and 23,000 cubic meters of gas daily. The well was commissioned by Azeri Drilling Company Ltd. Thus is the second well at platform 13, commissioned by the said company. On the whole, 2 highly productive wells were commissioned in Guneshli field in March. It should be noted that 28 May oil refinery plans to commission 15 new wells at Guneshli field this year.

WB and SOCAR implementing grant ecological program

SOCAR29 March 2008 - ARA - The WB Baku representation and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan have initiated admission of applications of potential candidates on a joint program of small grants for 2008. A source from the WB head office told APA that the yearly program is intended for nongovernmental organizations, the topic of the program is the role of civil society in environmental protection and resolution of ecological problems". The deadline for applications is April 18. It should be noted that the winners will be declared until May 15 of 2008. The form of applications and projects are of free format. WB and SOCAR will allocate grants for implementation of the projects of winner NGOs.

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