More than one billion tons of oil have been extracted from Azerbaijani offshore fields, Vice President of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR for Field Development Yashar Latifov said during the Annual Caspian Technical Conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in Baku.
"So far, 1.09 billion tons of oil and 713 billion cubic meters of gas have been extracted from Azerbaijani offshore fields, while onshore production totaled 0.979 billion tons of oil and 139 billion cubic meters of gas," Trend cited him as saying.
The vice president explained that so far, 28 oil and gas fields have been discovered in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian sea, 19 of them are under development, and 53 fields have been discovered on land.
The Caspian Technical Conference will continue until October 18. Its main focus is the oil and gas industry in the Caspian region and at the global level. The theme of the conference is digital transformation, which will be reflected in thematic panel and technical sessions that bring together industry experts, representatives of regulatory bodies and innovative companies as well as students.
Head of the 'Caspian Barrel' Center for Oil Research Ilham Shaban, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, recalled that a festive solemn ceremony marking the production of 2 billion tons of oil in Azerbaijan was held at the end of 2017. "Of these, 930 million tons were extracted onshore, the rest - offshore. Almost 700 million tons of this volume have been extracted since 1992. Of this volume, a little more than 490 million tons of oil were extracted at the Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli fields," the expert explained.
Speaking about the remaining reserves, he noted that only oil reserves at Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli amounted to about 500 million tons of oil, 200 million tons - at SOCAR fields. "Azerbaijan has sufficient reserves of condensate: about 200 million tons at Shah Deniz, of which only 10% was extracted (about 20 million tons). Absheron's reserves, where production will begin only in 2021, are 45 million tons, the Umid-Babek field - about 100 million tons. Residual reserves can be estimated in liquid hydrocarbons of at least 800 million tons, that is, 500, 200 and another 100 million tons. And if new gas condensate fields are opened, volumes will increase," the head of the 'Caspian Barrel' Center for Oil Research noted.
Answering a question about Azerbaijan’s income from production, the expert pointed out that during the years of independence, the state’s profitable share from Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli's oil amounted to about $145 billion. "And SOCAR earned about $6 billion. Foreign companies paid about $16 billion to the budget in taxes. SOCAR’s revenues from 1992 to this day have also reached a colossal amount," Ilham Shaban added.
Political and economic scientist Rovshan Ibrahimov recalled that oil reserves are updated all the time. "It is known that the proven available oil reserves in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea amount to 7 billion barrels. But as new exploration work is carried out or new technologies in the oil and gas field are developed, the likelihood of production increases. How much more oil Azerbaijan can produce depends on what technologies will be developed in the petrochemical industry. It doesn’t matter how large your reserves are, it’s important how easy it is to produce oil there," the expert explained.
"In this sense, we need to consider the increase in the likelihood of oil production from existing fields. In principle, technologies are being introduced to continue the exploitation of fields. Since the Contract of the Century has been extended to 2050, this means that at least 29 years an average of 30 million tons of oil will be extracted at Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli unless new technological studies appear or new fields are discovered. Although in 1994, when the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli exploitation began, no one expected that its operation would be possible in subsequent years," he said.
Rovshan Ibragimov added that since the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli and the Shahdeniz gas field were launched, the state oil fund received about $125 billion.