Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) First Vice-President Xoshbaxt Yusifzada has said that the country will increase oil production by 40 million tons every year.

He made the remarks speaking at the 27th Baku Energy Forum on June 3, Azernews reports.

Yusifzade recalled that Azerbaijan has been supplying oil and gas to the EU markets since 1997.

“The main pipeline through which oil is exported to the EU is Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan,” he said.

Moreover, the company’s first VP stated that a total of 11.3 billion cubic meters of gas have been transported to Europe through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, of which 9.7 billion were transported to Italy, 1.3 billion to Greece and 0.3 billion to Bulgaria.

“Some 166 billion cubic meters of gas have been exported from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field so far, of which 36 million cubic meters fell to the share of condensate,” he said.

Speaking about the Caspian Energy Forum and Exhibition, he emphasized that its holding will contribute to the expansion of ties between the oil and gas industry players.

“The energy forums and exhibitions held over the past 29 years have contributed to attracting new technologies and innovations in the field of oil and gas production to the country. Besides, a number of foreign companies were able to get acquainted with Azerbaijan's experience in oil and gas production,” he said.

Zero carbonization

Azerbaijan's oil and gas companies are restructuring their program and development strategy in order to achieve zero carbonization, SOCAR's Vice President of Ecology Rafiga Huseyn-zade said.

"Today, SOCAR has already prepared an appropriate program and launched projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. SOCAR is carrying out relevant work with international partners in order to ensure the environmental safety of the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea," she said.

Noting that the oil and gas resources of Azerbaijan will continue to provide energy security, she mentioned that SOCAR's new strategy provides for expanding the usage of technologies, reducing emissions and safe extraction of energy resources.

Huseyn-zade added that according to international organizations, SOCAR will achieve zero carbonization in the next ten years.

"Hydrogen and alternative energy sources are one of the safest types of fuel, and SOCAR is engaged in projects in this direction," she said.

Green economy projects

Speaking at the forum, UNDP’s Officer-in-Charge for Azerbaijan Sukhrob Khojimatov stated that the development of Azerbaijani Karakabh should be based on a green economy. He added that one of the goals of sustainable development is precisely the transition to green energy.

“We welcome the idea of ​​the Azerbaijani government to create a green zone in Karabakh,” he said.

The official emphasized that the UNDP, together with the World Bank and the EU, organized a mission to assess the volume of restoration work in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories, adding that the first report was already prepared in late March this year.

“The de-mining process in the liberated lands still remains a priority area in cooperation between Azerbaijan and UNDP,” he said.

He added that UNDP has already implemented several energy projects with SOCAR, as well as a number of projects with the public and private organizations, projects in the field of water and agriculture.

At the same time, Azerbaijan’s Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Mukhtar Babayev mentioned that it is planned to implement green projects in the country, aimed at improving energy efficiency, in accordance with the country’s development strategy until 2030.

“The usage of alternative energy sources is a priority. The solutions in the sphere of alternative energy are carried out within the framework of an international program to prevent climate change. We also implement projects for the processing and reuse of waste,” he said.

Oil and gas sector digitalization

Equinor’s Azerbaijan Country Manager Stig Atland underlined the necessity to work on the digitalization of the oil and gas sector in Azerbaijan.

He highlighted that Equinor has a high level of cooperation with Azerbaijan and it needs to be brought to the global level.

“Now it is necessary to fill the gaps that exist in the digital database for even more productive cooperation,” he said.

Atland added that it is necessary to systematize and digitalize the data necessary for the development of new fields.

“We need to share data if we really want to succeed in the oil and gas business, including the energy transition,” he said.

Hydrogen production to be launched at Baku Oil Refinery

Hydrogen production is planned at Baku Oil Refinery named after Heydar Aliyev this year, Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery Revamp Project Deputy Managing Director Emil Alkhasli stated.

He added that along with this, modernization and reconstruction work is underway at Baku Oil Refinery in order to increase production capacity, ensure the supply of Euro-5 standard fuel in Azerbaijan, minimize the impact on the environment, ensure uninterrupted supplies of raw materials to the country’s Azerikimya production association and increase the export potential of petroleum products.

"Some 1,200 specialists have been involved in repair work at the refinery, until now, who work on a 24-hour basis. Step by step work is underway to put various equipment into operation. Modernization of refinery will ensure the efficiency and sustainability of production, also energy security," he said.

At the same time, SGC CJSC Director-General Afgan Isayev noted that Azerbaijan has the potential for transporting hydrogen along the Southern Gas Corridor.

"We are planning a transition to the sphere of green technologies. Appropriate programs are already being developed. We see potential in implementing of projects in the sphere of renewable energy, and transportation of hydrogen through the SGC. This transformation is aimed at ensuring climate security," he said.

Noting that there are opportunities to increase the capacity of SGC to 31 billion cubic meters per year, Isayev recalled that at the moment, its capacity is 16 billion cubic meters per year.

He added that the Azerbaijani government has allocated $10.4 billion for the implementation and development of this project so far.