The Discovery of a large gas field near Azerbaijan by Total, the French oil group, will reduce the European Union’s dependence on the Russian energy supplies and increase Caspian gas import.
President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, said that the exploration of Azerbaijan gas is a major event that will highlight the awaited city prospect as a global gas supplier. He exclaimed that this discovery would inscribe a new lesson where the country can hope to introduce gas strategy and stand confidently as a world gas exporter.
The French oil group pointed out that it has found a potentially big reservoir that holds several trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and its associated products. The first well has been drilled on the Absheron block offshore Azerbaijan about 25km from the huge Shak Deniz gas field.
Senior vice-president of exploration at Total, Marc Blaizot, said that such a remarkable discovery is significant in resources. Gas drilling will open a new door for enlargement and exploring various other objectives. Some analysts believe that gas exploration will reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies. It will also widen the prospects for the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline to transport Caspian and Middle East gas to Europe.
With the proposal to buy all Azerbaijan’s surplus gas production, Russia is already facing tough challenges and rivals to control the Caspian gas. Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, hopes to capture the Nabucco markets by making the South Stream pipeline to transport gas across the Black Sea to the south and central Europe.
The Shah Deniz field, a foreign association, led by BP, is planning to establish one trillion cubic metres of gas reserves that will enhance Azerbaijan small amounts of export to Turkey, Georgia and Greece. The union is trying to provide gas to Nabucco from the second phase of Shah Deniz expected projects by 2017.
According to the surveys, Azerbaijan supplies about 1m barrels a day of oil through a pipeline across the Caucasus to the Turkish Mediterranean. The export crosses all along Russian routes to world markets.
Increasing gas exports in upcoming decades will help balance an anticipated reduction at Azerbaijan’s Caspian oil fields.