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Azerbaijan - Part 1 - The Prospects.

One of the world's oldest oil exporters, development of Azerbaijan's petroleum reserves remains central to its economic future. Through various agreements with international oil companies (IOCs), Azerbaijan has opened its petroleum industry to fund its development and, through exploration and production sharing agreements (EPSAs) with IOCs, to promote regional stability.

Azerbaijan currently is producing 950,000 b/d of crude oil and condensate condensate, matter in the form of a gas of atoms, molecules, or elementary particles that have been so chilled that their motion is virtually halted and as a consequence they lose their separate identities and merge into a single entity. , up from 927,600 b/d in 2011. This compares to 1.023m b/d in 2010, 860,000 b/d in 2007, 600,000 b/d in mid-2006, 350,000 b/d in mid-2004, 310,000 b/d in mid-2002, 192,000 b/d in 1997 and 259,300 b/d in 1990. Its oil output had reached 500,000 b/d during World War-II.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and its many subsidiaries are responsible for the production of oil and natural gas in Azerbaijan, for operation of the country's two refineries, for running the country's pipeline system, and for managing the country's oil and  (Socar) and its minority partners in 2012 are expected to produce 165,000 b/d, down from 195,000 b/d in mid-2004 and 285,000 b/d in 1987. Azerbaijan International Azerbaijan International is a quarterly magazine that features articles about Azerbaijan written in English.

Azerbaijan International is an independent magazine committed to the discussion of issues related to Azerbaijanis around the world.
 Operating Co. (AIOC AIOC Azerbaijan International Operating Company
AIOC Anglo-Iranian Oil Company
AIOC Acceptable Initial Operating Capability
), a BP-led consortium, in 2012 will produce 740,000 b/d, down from 823,100 b/d in 2010 but up from 390,000 b/d in mid-2006 and 155,000 b/d in mid-2004. AIOC aims to keep its output stabilised at about 750,000 b/d in the coming years (see the producing ventures in omt2AzerProdJuly9-12 & gmt2AzerProd-July9-12).

Judging by the number of IOCs involved in E&P ventures and their strong lobbying in the West, including US majors, Azerbaijan should be able to make good use of oil and gas export pipelines later in this decade. So far, Baku has signed more than 30 oil and gas (EPSAs) with more than 40 firms from many countries (see gmt1AzerGeo-July2-12).

To a great extent, Azerbaijan's economic and geo-political prospects will depend on a viable solution to the issue of sharing Caspian Sea Caspian Sea (kăs`pēən), Lat. Mare Caspium or Mare Hyrcanium, salt lake, c.144,000 sq mi (373,000 sq km), between Europe and Asia; the largest lake in the world.  wealth with its neighbours (see down1AzerCasp-July2-12). But Azerbaijan still suffers from some shortage of energy (see down2AzerEnBasRefPetchm-July9-12). Azeri President Ilham Aliyev personally signs the EPSAs. His aides are eager to see the country become a major oil and gas exporter (see omt3AzerExprt-July16-12).

A law on company ownership secrecy has caused dismay in Azerbaijan, however, with critics saying it contradicts every principle of open government. Legislative amendments passed by parliament on June 13 mean that, from now on, shareholders' identities and the stakes they hold in companies will be kept confidential. The law was changed after a series of media investigations alleged links between members of President Aliyev's family and big businesses (see profiles in down3AzerWho'sJuly16-12 and gmt3AzerWho's-July16-12).
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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Geographic Code:9AZER
Date:Jul 2, 2012
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