The 26th International Caspian Oil & Gas Conference, the largest energy event in the Caspian region, started at the Bilgah Beach Hotel from the 30th to the 31st of May 2019. The conference is part of the Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition, and serves as the main platform for leading experts of not only the oil & gas industry, but also other related sectors. This year’s conference is expected to welcome more than 500 delegates from over 30 countries worldwide.
The first plenary meeting of the conference was opened by the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Parviz Shahbazov, who noted that modern Azerbaijan is successfully implementing the oil strategy initiated by National Leader Heydar Aliyev. According to the speaker, in addition to oil, the main reserves of which are concentrated in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field (about 1 billion tons) in the Caspian Sea, and Azerbaijan is rich in gas resources which from 2020 will be supplied to Europe along the new Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) and the production of which in Azerbaijan by this time will be 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the prospect of growth. “SGC is important for the development of new field. The Caspian Sea will remain the centre of energy cooperation for different states and companies, which means that the Caspian Oil & Gas Conference in Baku will continue”, said Parviz Shahbazov.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Oil for International and Trade Issues of the Islamic Republic of Iran Amir Hossein Zamaninia expressed his gratitude for the invitation of the Iranian delegation to Baku, calling the Caspian Oil & Gas Conference an important event from a regional and global point of view. “Oil and gas resources will continue to be in demand throughout the world, which means that the importance of sustainable energy development remains a driver for the economy of most countries of the world,” said Mr Zamaninia.
He pointed to the growing role of Azerbaijan in the diversification of energy supplies to Europe, and expressed hope for the successful continuation of the Iranian-Azerbaijani energy cooperation.
The Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Yuri Sentyurin, noted that the energy role of Azerbaijan in the world is growing, and this is a great merit of President Ilham Aliyev. “Azerbaijan is an active participant in international energy forums, it has the status of an observer in the GECF and we are pleased to see the successful implementation of the gas field development programme. In 2020 Europe will receive the first gas from Azerbaijan from the Shah-Deniz field in the South Caucasus Gas Complex. After 2021-23, gas production will start from other fields in the country, which will ensure not only the development of Azerbaijan itself, but also meet the UN goals for the sustainable development of the world’s states”, Mr Senturin emphasized.
Mr Tomonobu Uchida, President of the National Corporation for Oil, Gas and Metals of Japan, stressed the importance of close cooperation between Japan and Azerbaijan. “Japan imports energy. We are pleased that our companies are participating in such a large-scale oil project as Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli in Azerbaijan, and we see the prospects for deepening cooperation”, Uchida said.
The second plenary session of the conference was devoted to the topic “Looking to the future: what are the main elements of energy security and sustainability?” Opinions on this issue were shared by the heads of the companies participating in the event.
Thus, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev, who called the conference “fruitful,” noted that the cooperation of the State Oil Company with foreign partners is reaching a new level. “I have been the head of SOCAR for 14 years. Over the period of our implementation of the sustainable development programme, SOCAR has become an international company implementing projects not only in Azerbaijan, but also beyond its borders. Previously, the main goal of the company was to ensure the output of hydrocarbons from Azerbaijan to the world
market, now we have petrochemicals included among the priorities, that is, the independent production of refined products of oil and gas”, said R. Abdullayev.
Referring to the implementation of the Contract of the Century, the head of SOCAR noted that for 25 years, a direct profit of $40 billion was obtained with investments in the ACG project at the level of $36 billion.
“We will be developing ACG for another 32 years, capital investments are planned at $40 billion to extract the remaining 500 million tons of oil. We will develop gas fields. The wells are successfully drilled at Umid, the first gas from the Caspian Absheron will soon be available, gas will flow from Karabakh in 2021-22, and Ashrafi-Dan Ulduzu-Aypara will be next in line, adding that SOCAR pays great attention to projects in Turkey, the total investment of which will soon reach $19.5 billion
BP Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, Mr Gary Jones, noted that the large-scale ACG and Shah-Deniz projects, as well as new BP projects in Azerbaijan, play an important role in ensuring energy security and sustainable development. “Together with SOCAR, we are moving forward, demonstrating the success of the public-private partnership (PPP) and the sustainability of economic development”, said Mr Jones. According to him, in 2019, construction of the new ACE platform on ACG will begin, so that from 2023 another 100,000 barrels per day will be added to the current oil production from the block. “Ahead is a low-cost but promising SWAP project, Shafag-Asiman, D-230, that is, new discoveries of hydrocarbons”, said Jones.
The Director General of the Turkish TPAO, Melih Khan Bilgin, spoke about the strategic nature of the partnership with Azerbaijan and the importance of implementing joint projects.
Kurmangazy Iskaziyev, deputy chairman of the board of KazMunaiGaz National Company, JSC, noted that the Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan cooperation in the energy sector has intensified. “At the beginning of June, a SEFDR (drilling rig) will come to Baku from Kazakhstan for the upgrade work in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, and this will become a new form of bilateral cooperation. We also consider the transit of oil through Azerbaijan as one of the options for exporting Kazakh oil from the Kashagan and Tengiz fields in connection with the plans to increase production there”, Iskaziyev said.
Denis Lemarchal, Executive Director of Total E & P Absheron, noted that it is planned to produce about 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas and 700,000 tons of condensate during the first stage of development of the Absheron Caspian field, and in the second stage - up to four billion cubic meters of gas per year. He expressed satisfaction with the cooperation with SOCAR and the opportunity provided by the use of Total’s new drilling technologies in Azerbaijan.
The third plenary session was devoted to the personnel development strategy in the era of digitalisation, and the Vice President of BP-Azerbaijan-Georgia Narmina Nabiyeva, the Vice President of SOCAR Khalik Mammadov, a representative of Kazenergo Lyazzat Akhmurzina, the Director of ABB on Azerbaijan Rustam Gasimov spoke at it.
Further presentations focused on new export opportunities, taking into account the launch of SGC in 2020, and at the end of the conference, the main directions for the transformation of oil refining were presented.
Synergy - the path to global improvements; towards energy security and sustainability. This is the name of the plenary session of the annual Caspian Oil & Gas Conference, which gathers representatives of major companies in the oil and gas industry to identify directions for its development and international cooperation. Speakers at the conference will deliver more than 40 reports on the most relevant industry topics such as energy security, digitalization, new export and investment opportunities, environmental safety, energy-efficient and smart cities.
The format of the 26th Caspian Oil & Gas International Conference is becoming more dynamic. Moreover, participants and delegates extended discussions and debates with the use of digital means; a plan is to launch a mobile application sponsored by Gasprombank that help delegates communicate with speakers online. A new product from SOCAR, the “Aliya” Artificial Intelligence project, also be presented at the conference.
For the first time, a well-known futurologist from Slovenia, Blaz Golab, specially invited by the organisers to close the current topic “Energy-efficient and Smart Cities: Main Drivers and the Role of the Energy Sector in their Development”, took part in the conference.
The general partner of the conference is SOCAR, gold sponsors - BP, Equinor Azerbaijan, Gazprombank, Petronas Azerbaijan, silver sponsor - INPEX Corporation, bronze sponsors - ABB Limited, Baker Hughes A Ge Company, Caspian Pipe Coatings, Dentons Europe AARPI, HUAWEI, Lamor Corporation, McDermott, Nobel Upstream, SOCAR AQS, Tenaris Connections B.V., Total E&P Absheron, Zenith Aran Oil Company LTD.