The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that annual natural gas production in Azerbaijan will grow to 55 billion m3 over the next 20 years, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol told reporters in Baku on September 12.
«We predict that over the next 20 years, the annual gas production in Azerbaijan will grow from the present 18 billion to 55 billion m3. This is very important both for the Azerbaijani economy and for the status of the country as an exporter of natural gas», he said.
Birol mentioned that Azerbaijan has established itself as a reliable partner separating political issues from energy industry. The data by Azerbaijan State Statistics Committee say that production of commercial gas in the country amounted to 10.5 billion m3 in January-July 2018, which is 3.6 % less than in the same period of 2017.
Birol also told reporters that the IEA does not rule out further growth in oil prices until the end of the year. He said the growth of global oil demand, the decline in the Venezuelan oil industry and the situation in the Middle East will remain the main factors. «If other producers do not decide to increase production, we can predict the continuation of the growth trend until the end of the year», he said.
Birol mentioned that today oil prices reach $80 per barrel, and there are 3 key factors. 1st, there is a strong growth in oil demand about 1.4 million barrels per day. 2ndly, Venezuela, one of the main oil producers, has reduced production from 2.5 million to 1.2 million barrels of oil. 3rdly, there is uncertainty in the Middle East, Iran's decline in exports, as well as the unstable situation in Libya and Nigeria.
He further noted that the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project is important both for Azerbaijan and for Turkey and Europe. 'For the EU diversification of energy sources is a strategic task. The SGC is one of the most important projects in this direction. I am sure that the project will be completed on time and its capacity will grow over the years, he said.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union, which aims to diversify routes and sources of energy supplies and thereby improve the energy security of the EU. The opening ceremony of the SGC was held in Sangachal terminal in Baku on May 29. The cost of the project is over $40 billion.
Gas as part of the Shah Deniz 2 field development is exported to Turkey through the TANAP gas pipeline and will be exported to the European markets through the expansion of the South Caucasus gas pipeline and construction of the TAP pipeline.
The IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organization established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1974. The IEA was initially dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors.
Presently, the IEA acts as a policy adviser to its member states, but also works with non-member countries. The IEA has a broad role in promoting alternate energy sources, rational energy policies and multinational energy technology co-operation.