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January 31, 2019

Azerbaijan keen to invest in LNG sector: minister

Business

January 31, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Azerbaijan has shown interest in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector and planned to invest through State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), a government official said on Wednesday.

In this regard, Pakistan and Azerbaijan will constitute a joint working group on energy, federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan said during a meeting with Chingiz Coribhi, deputy head of mission of Azerbaijan, at the Petroleum Division.

The two sides had entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) in February 2017 for the supply of a number of oil and gas products, including furnace oil, petrol, diesel and LNG.

The two countries are now expected to formally sign a commercial agreement in February on arrival of Azerbaijan’s foreign minister in Islamabad.

Khan said that the Petroleum Division will try its best to get this agreement ratified from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet so that mutual relation between the two countries can be strengthened.

The deputy head of mission said SOCAR’s activities include exploration of oil and gas, production, processing and transportation of oil, natural gas and gas condensate, as well as marketing of petroleum and petrochemical products in domestic and international markets.

It also operates a wide network of petrol stations in Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Switzerland and Azerbaijan under its brand name.

Azerbaijan’s daily production of crude oil is approximately 860,000 barrels per day (bpd) and its annual gas production is approximately 29.4 billion cubic feet.

This makes SOCAR a predominant player in its core region, as well as an invaluable trade partner in the global market.

Coribhi also invited the petroleum minister to Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference, scheduled to be held on May 29, 2019 in Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, during a meeting with Ambassador of Turkmenistan Atadjan Movlamov, who called on him, the petroleum minister said the division will support Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline at all levels.

Matters pertaining to mutual interest between both the countries came under discussion.

The ambassador appreciated the progress being made in Pakistan on the TAPI gas pipeline.

The minister assured the ambassador that Pakistan remains fully committed to the successful implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project, and termed it vital to Pakistan’s energy portfolio and a catalyst for closer regional integration, peace and harmony.

In the near future, the Petroleum division and TAPI Pipeline Corporation will sign an essential document, he said.

Movlamov said that Turkmenistan’s economy depends on oil and gas. Through TAPI pipeline, Pakistan will receive 1300 million cubic feet gas.

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