Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is looking to increase production of natural gas in coming years, the company’s head Rovnag Abdullayev said in his interview with Reuters.

In coming years, said Abdullayev, the country expected to put on stream several gas fields that would provide much-needed output growth.

“We aim to get 1.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Absheron gas field’s first stage in 2019 and an additional 5 bcm in 2022-2023 from the second stage,” he said. “In the next three to five years, SOCAR plans to build two offshore platforms at the Umid (gas) field and to drill at least eight high-marginal wells ... SOCAR plans to start (exploration) drilling at the Babek (gas) field in the second half of 2018.”

Abdullayev added that, the company plans to start oil and gas production at the Karabakh offshore field in the second part of 2021.

“Development of these projects would allow us to increase gas sales domestically and abroad,” he said.

SOCAR has produced 2.95 bcm of gas from offshore and onshore fields of the country using its own funds in 1H17, as compared to 3.16 bcm produced in the same period of 2016.

Along with its own production, SOCAR also receives gas from Shah Deniz and Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields (associated gas), developing these fields jointly with foreign partners. Total volume of gas produced from the contracted and independently developed fields stood at 14.13 bcm in the period, as compared to 14.94 bcm in January-June 2016.

Trend, 21.08.17