Baku hosts int-l Caspian Energy Forum – 2014

By: Nazrin Gadimova

The 1st International Caspian Energy Forum-2014 opened in Baku on April 23. Organized by the Caspian Energy International Media Group, the forum has brought together 300 delegations from 50 countries.

The forum is supported by Azerbaijan’s Cabinet of Ministers, Parliament, Energy Ministry, State Oil Company, State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent, State Customs Committee, State Migration Service, U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan, and the Caspian European Club (CEIBC).

“EU’s energy security through cooperation with the Caspian-Black Sea region states”, the first session of the forum is chaired by Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev.

Speaking at the session, Aliyev said the Caspian region will become a reliable source of gas supplies for Europe amid the consumption growth and the need to diversify energy sources.

“Currently, an energy corridor is being formed between the Caspian region and Europe, beginning in Azerbaijan and extending to Italy,” he said.

More than $50 billion will be required to ensure the gas supply as part of the second phase of development at Azerbaijani offshore gas condensate Shah Deniz field for the European market, the minister added.

“The Caspian region, as opposed to Europe, has a powerful energy potential with relatively small consumption volumes,” he said, adding that the proven oil reserves of the region and its proven gas reserves had reached 3.5 – 4 and 7-11 percent of the world reserves respectively.

Taking the prospects of discovering new deposits into account, the hydrocarbon reserves of the Caspian region are expected to double by 2035, Aliyev said.

The energy minister also stressed that Azerbaijan has achieved great results in the field of power engineering, fully ensuring its own energy security. Thus, oil production has recently reached 43-50 million tons, gas production has reached about 30 billion cubic meters, and the capacity of electricity generation has increased by 30 percent.

U.S. ambassador in Baku Richard Morningstar, addressing the event, has expressed his country`s readiness to cooperate with Azerbaijan in producing alternative energy.

He said the Absheron peninsula had favorable conditions for developing wind and solar power.

Morningstar praised Azerbaijan`s energy policy, saying the country attached importance to developing both traditional and alternative energy sources.

The ambassador also reaffirmed the United States` support for Azerbaijan`s intention to supply it gas to European Union countries.

Entitled “Natural gas and unconventional natural gas – major energy carrier of the 21st century – exploration and production prospects in the Caspian”, the second session will be chaired by Khoshbakht Yusifzade, First Vice-President for Geology, Geophysics and Field Development at Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company.

Thematic forums, Caspian European Financial Forum, Caspian European IT Forum, Caspian European Industry Forum, and Caspian European Infrastructure Forum will be held in the second half of the day.

The forum is attended by heads of government agencies, ministries, committees and agencies of Azerbaijan and the countries of the Caspian-Black Sea and Baltic regions, representatives of diplomatic missions and missions of international organizations accredited in Azerbaijan, and executives of international companies.