Baku, Tehran mull cooperation in oil, gas production

By: Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijani and Iranian oil industries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The document was signed during the visit of an Azerbaijani delegation headed by First Vice-President of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) Khoshbakht Yusifzade to Iran, the State Oil Company said on August 21.

The visit took place at the invitation of leadership of the Khazar Exploration and Production Company (KEPCO) on August 18-20.

Iran has begun to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the field of oil production in the Caspian Sea.

The MoU was signed between the SOCAR and KEPCO – a branch of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), which is engaged in the exploration and production of oil in the Caspian Sea.

In the meeting with the Azerbaijani delegations, KEPCO’s CEO Ali Osuli stated that his company is interested in cooperation with SOCAR in the Caspian Sea. The parties also stressed the significance of expanding Azerbaijani-Iranian partnership in the Caspian Sea and in the international oil and gas projects.

The Azerbaijani delegation also met with First Deputy Petroleum Minister of Iran and NIOC General Director Rukneddin Javadi, Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs & Trade Ali Majedi and Deputy General Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) and Chairman of Board of National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) Azizollah Ramezani.

The sides discussed the prospects of the Azerbaijani-Iranian cooperation in the oil and gas sector, the opportunities in the field of oil and gas production, transportation and export of the parties, seasonal gas transit between the two countries.

The SOCAR delegation also got familiarized with studies of Iranian scientists in the oil and gas industry and nanotechnologies in the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry in Tehran.

Azerbaijan and Iran have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991, and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992.

Data from the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan shows that trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $281.03 million in 2013, which is 6.13 percent higher than 2012. The figure stood at $263.785 million in 2012.