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Attention focuses on Azerbaijan in 'Year of Oil'

Posted: 2 March 2005

  • Oil production has begun from the Central Azeri development, part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field, in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. The Central Azeri platform is located in approximately 128 m of water 100 km east of Baku. AIOC (Azeri International Operation Company) announced on 14 February that production began from the first of 10 pre-drilled production wells.
  • In 2005 oil production from Central Azeri will exceed 35 million barrels (93,000bpd). The Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field is one of Azerbaijan's largest fields, with an estimated 5.4 billion barrels of oil and 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas, according to AIOC. The ACG Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), signed in September 1994, covers the 3- year development of the ACG contract area. It is estimated that 5.4 billion barrels of oil will be recovered during the PSA period.
  • Ceremony attended by H.E. President Ilham Aliyev to celebrate first oil from the Central Azeri platform on the ACG field. 18 February 2005
  • Nine new field under exploration in Azerbaijan — State oil company, SOCAR, reveals that 71 oil and gas fields have been discovered in the republic (42 onshore and 28 in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea). Currently 36 fields are being operated offshore and 18 onshore - nine new fields now under exploration. 18 February 2005
  • Construction of the BTC pipeline and associated facilities is around 93% complete, with just 72km of the pipeline trench remaining to be backfilled and 4 km of the line still to be welded. 24 February 2005
  • BP Azerbaijan, the operator of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli project is expected to start transporting a portion of oil produced from the Azeri field through the Baku-Novorossiysk northern pipeline in April, the company plans to transport 11,000-13,000 tons of oil along the route every day. 25 February 2005

Global attention is focused on developments in the oil and gas industry in Azerbaijan in what Natiq Aliyev, President of SOCAR, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, has described as "the Year of Oil". This interest is certainly reflected by the enthusiasm with which companies from all over the world have reserved space at the 12th Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference, being held in Baku, Azerbaijan 7-10 June 2005.

Once again operators active in the region have booked large spaces at the show. These include BP, ConocoPhillips, Itochu, Lukoil, Statoil, Total and TPAO as well as the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan - SOCAR. Equally large spaces have been reserved by major contractors including Blue Water Shipping, McDermott, National Oilwells, Siemens, BOS Shelf and Technip. National group pavilions have been reserved by France, Germany, Russia, Italy and the UK. Encouragingly, there are a growing number of companies from Azerbaijan eager to showcase their abilities and products not only to those involved with the home market but to overseas visitors who come to the annual event from throughout the Caspian Region and much further afield. Caspian Oil and Gas 2004 attracted 338 exhibiting companies from 28 countries; and some 10,000 trade visitors from 54 countries.

"We are delighted by the response from exhibitors," says Edward Strachan, ITE's Regional Director. "The Caspian climate is now at its most dynamic. The Caspian Region has estimated reserves of 200bln barrels of oil and 640 trl cubic ft of gas, at least 15% of the world's resources, greater reserves than those of the United States and the North Sea. Not surprisingly, massive investment and commitment by global exploration and production companies has meant the expansion of the service industry and the announcement of substantial tenders for highly diverse contracts, services, equipment, materials, training and personnel - dramatically increasing opportunities for contracting, sub contracting and supply companies. It is these companies that we see increasingly exhibiting at Caspian Oil and Gas".

"The annual Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference is the leading oil and gas industry forum for the Region. H.E. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic traditionally opens and tours the event alongside international visiting Energy Ministers, and with senior government and industry officials. The event is a 'must' for all those companies keen to develop business within the oil and gas sector, increase their market share and forge important trade links throughout the Region."

Strong support within Azerbaijan

"We have extremely strong support for the annual event within Azerbaijan," Edward Strachan continues. "Natiq Aliyev, President of SOCAR has written to all past and prospective exhibitors saying:

I express my deep confidence that the 12th International Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference will become the catalyst for the development of new energy projects and will also assist the strengthening of investment processes in oil-chemistry facilities, oil and gas equipment and machinery building, and improvements in the infrastructure of all economically viable fields in the Republic.

"His views are shared by H.E. Dr Prof Majid Keimov, Minister of Industry and Energy of the Azerbaijan Republic, who similarly has written to potential exhibitors explaining:

Since 1994, when the first Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference was held, this event has played a major role in the development of the huge energy reserves of the Caspian region and in attracting foreign investments into the energy sector. The participation of leading companies in the world in the exhibition has given an impetus to the application of new technologies and equipment in Azerbaijan and successful implementation of projects. This event has become the place where local and foreign specialists can exchange their thoughts and experiences and it opens new opportunities for the active participation of local and foreign specialists. It also plays a great role increasing the position of Azerbaijan on the international level.

"We thank them both for their support and are confident that this year's event will live up to, and even exceed, their expectations."

The Caspian Oil and Gas Conference

The programme for the 12th Caspian Oil and Gas Conference will be available shortly. For the first time there will be a delegate fee for the conference, which will feature a highly topical and relevant programme and be held at the Hyatt Hotel, Baku.

The Caspian Oil and Gas Conference will be reformatted and repositioned for 2005, and beyond, in order to create the platform for discussion, senior level networking and the marketing of professional services expected of such an important regional event.

The conference is officially supported by the Ministry of Industry & Energy and SOCAR. Visiting governmental and NOC delegations from Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkey, Georgia, Greece, UK, USA and Europe will join the key companies operating in Azerbaijan in making presentations on the future potential for Caspian oil and gas. Ten networking functions including VIP and general lunches, cocktail parties and gala dinners will be added to the programme from 2005 and will offer participants the all-important networking opportunities associated with an event of this size.

In excess of 500 delegates are expected to participate in the conference. "If you operate in, or are looking at, entering the Caspian oil and gas sector you cannot afford to miss this annual industry meeting," says Conference Director, Matthew Moss.

About the organisers

During Autumn 2004 the ITE Group reached agreement with the Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce to organize the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition. ITE is working closely with the UK-based organizer Caspian Events, headed by Susan Crouch MBE, to market the exhibition within its current extensive oil and gas portfolio. ITE is the organizer of 15 international oil and gas events, and is the co-organizer of the prestigious 18th World Petroleum Congress, which will being held in South Africa

ITE has also involved its partner in Azerbaijan Iteca Caspian, the leading exhibition company in the region, to help with the co-organisation of the event. Iteca Caspian currently manages 12 events in Azerbaijan, and four in Georgia, and its experience is proving instrumental in upgrading the facilities and local management of this important event.

ITE has also drawn on its relationships with leading national agents throughout the CIS, to increase the number of companies participating from these countries; ITE is the organizer of MIOGE (Russia), and KIOGE (Kazakhstan), where more than 30% of all participating companies are from the CIS - ITE's agents have therefore been able to introduce the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition to many potential new participants.

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