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Azerbaijan's Oil Exports Increase Despite Price Fluctuations

By Vusala Abbasova January 19, 2019

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Crude oil and natural gas are Azerbaijan’s main exports. Located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea north of Iran and south of Russia, it is estimated to possess at least seven billion barrels of oil, putting it at number 18 in global rankings for the volume of proven crude deposits.

Exports of crude from oil-rich Azerbaijan reached nearly 30 million tons last year despite fluctuations in global prices.

"In 2018, exports of declared oil from Azerbaijan amounted to 29,498,337 tons worth $15,719,482,370," reported Interfax-Azerbaijan on Thursday, citing the State Customs Committee.

In 2017, Azerbaijan exported close to 27.2 million tons of crude oil worth around $10.7 billion, according to the State Statistics Committee, reflecting an 8.3 percent increase in exports by volume and nearly 47 percent increase in terms of revenue the following year.

Crude oil and natural gas are Azerbaijan’s main exports. Located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea north of Iran and south of Russia, it is estimated to possess at least seven billion barrels of oil, putting it at number 18 in global rankings for the volume of proven crude deposits.

But 2019 may not show a progression from last year’s yields. The volume of exported petroleum products may change, as the country is planning to cut domestic production. Last year, energy officials supported a deal reached between OPEC and allied oil-producing nations to curtail daily output of crude to help stop oil prices from sliding further downhill. To support OPEC's initiative, Baku agreed to cut domestic production from 783,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 763,000 bpd.

Natural gas ranks second in the export structure of Azerbaijan after crude oil. The country exports over eight billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, worth more than a billion dollars, and provides almost 100 percent of gas consumption in neighboring Georgia.

The Southern Gas Corridor is currently being constructed, which will deliver at least 10 billion cubic meters of gas each year to Europe and another six billion to Turkey, via the three-segmented mega-pipeline that begins in the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea and ends in southern Italy.

Deliveries to Turkey via the corridor already began in 2018, and delivery to Europe is scheduled to begin in 2020.