Caspian Weekly Roundup
BP Plans to Ramp Hop Production at Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz
BP plans to ramp up production at Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field, Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, BP’s Vice President for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey said. “We expect flat oil production from Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) and a rise in gas production at Shah Deniz in 2019 as we will continue to ramp up production on Shah Deniz throughout this year and … in the next few years,” he told Reuters.
Azerbaijan to Become a More Significant Supplier of Natural Gas to Southern Europe
Azerbaijan produced about 600 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of dry natural gas in 2017 and exported about 210 Bcf, according to EIA’s International Energy Statistics. The country is planning to expand its natural gas exports to Europe. European Union leaders consider connecting Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz natural gas field to Southern Europe to be a step toward the strategic goal of diversifying Europe’s natural gas supply.
Italy, South Korea Support Kazakhstan’s Tengiz Oil Field Expansion Project
The main equipment for the project to expand the production capacity of the Tengiz oil and gas field in Kazakhstan is being manufactured in Kazakhstan, South Korea, and Italy. “After pre-assembly of the equipment into modules, they will be sent to the Tengiz field for final assembly and installation. In the Italian city of Avenza, work continues to manufacture and supply gas turbine generator modules. Also, 12 modules were shipped by sea from South Korea,” the field operator, Tengizchevroil informed.
TAP Project More than 85 Percent Complete
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, is 85.2 percent complete as of January 2019, according to the TAP AG consortium. “TAP is currently moving further into the project construction phase. Every day hundreds of meters of TAP’s Right of Way (ROW) are cleared, strung, welded, lowered into the trenches and backfilled, in line with the project construction steps and schedule. At the end of January 2019, the TAP project was 85.2 percent completed,” said the consortium.
Italian Eni Increases Oil & Gas Production in Kazakhstan
Italian oil and gas company Eni increased its oil and natural gas production in Kazakhstan by 8.3 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. Eni’s oil and natural gas production in Kazakhstan in the 4th quarter of 2018 amounted to 162 kilobarrels of oil equivalent per day (kboe/d) compared to 130 kboe/d in the same period of 2017. The company’s liquids production in the country totaled 110 kilobarrels per day (kbbl/d) in the period compared to 83 kbbl/d in the 4th quarter of the previous year.
Azerbaijan Attracting Kazakh Companies to its Energy Projects
Azerbaijan’s Caspian Drilling Company Ltd and Kazakhstan’s KMG Drilling & Services have signed an agreement on trust management of a self-elevating floating drilling rig (SEFDR). The contract was signed February 16 as part of a meeting by Chairman of the Board of National Company KazMunayGaz JSC Alik Aydarbayev with President of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev in Astana. The contract provides for the operation of the SEFDR on projects implemented by the Azerbaijani side.
Next Azerbaijan-Russia Border Demarcation Meeting Announced
The working group discussing the demarcation of the Azerbaijan-Russia border will hold its next meeting this spring, according to Russian officials. Participants will talk about how to implement the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea which was signed last year.
Kazakhstan to Send Peacekeeping Unit to Lebanon
The Kazakh Ministry of Defense is deploying a second peacekeeping force to Lebanon. The unit will conduct patrols, observations, and ceasefire monitoring as part of the UN mandate in the area. The unit of 120 troops has begun training for the mission and will likely deploy at the end of April.
Azerbaijan Participates in IDEX 2019
Representatives of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense have traveled to Abu Dhabi for the 14th In-ternational Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2019. The delegation will meet with Tur-key’s MKEK company, Russia’s JSC Rosoboronexport, Serbia’s Yugoimport–SDPR, UAE’s Mobile Land Systems and Tawazun, and Saudi Arabia’s Military Industries Corporation. Azer-baijan’s Minister of Defense also met with his Belarusian counterpart on the sidelines of the con-ference to discuss Azerbaijan-Belarus defense cooperation.
Turkmenistan Preparing for Additional Elections
Turkmenistan is preparing to hold an additional round of parliamentary elections to fill vacant seats in the body. Meetings are underway to nominate candidates from Turkmenistan’s political parties. The election will take place at the end of March.
Israeli Defense Company Makes Deal with Azerbaijan
The Israeli Defense Company Aeronautics announced a $13 million deal with Azerbaijan. The two-year contract covers maintenance work on Orbiter drones. Aeronautics’s export license was suspended in 2017 and only reinstated two weeks ago.
Caspian Countries Meet in Baku
The High-Level Working Group on the Caspian Sea is meeting on February 19th in Azerbaijan to monitor implementation of last year’s Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. Minis-ters from the five littoral states – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan – are all in attendance.
Kazakhstan’s Trade Turnover with EEU Up by 7.5 Percent
According to preliminary data, the mutual trade between Kazakhstan and the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in 2018 amounted to $19.11 billion. This is 7.5 percent more than in 2017, according to the Statistics Committee of Kazakh National Economy Ministry. In particular, Kazakhstan’s exports to the EEU countries in 2018 amounted to $5.89 billion, and imports totaled $13.22 billion.
Youtube, Facebook Again Accessible in Uzbekistan
YouTube, VKontakte, and Facebook have become accessible in Uzbekistan. However, Facebook loads very slowly. Mass problems with accessing Facebook in Uzbekistan for the first time began on September 4-12 last year. The second time the social network became unavailable in Uzbekistan on September 17 and remained as such until today. It was possible to use the popular social network only via VPN.
Second Stage of Licensing Software Solutions Used in Azerbaijani State Agencies Starts
The second stage of licensing software solutions used in state agencies of Azerbaijan has started, head of Microsoft Azerbaijan Sarhan Hashimov told reporters in Baku. He said that the work in this direction is carried out in accordance with the agreement on the purchase of software licenses for state agencies signed in July last year.
Lukoil Invests $9 Billion in Kazakhstan’s Economy
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed with Vagit Alekperov, President of the Russian Lukoil oil company, further development of investment cooperation in the oil and gas industry, according to the official website of the President of Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev noted the positive dynamics and effectiveness of partnership between the Kazakh national oil company KazMunayGas and Lukoil.
UK Investors Buy Majority of Uzbekistan’s Debut Eurobonds
Uzbekistan has posted for the first time in its history two tranches of Eurobonds with a combined value of $1 billion. The yield of 5-year securities in the amount of $500 million will be 4.75 percent per annum, and the yield of 10-year securities in the amount of $500 million will be 5.375 percent. The maturity dates of the bonds are set for 2024 and 2029.
10 Export-Oriented Projects to be Launched in Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar SEZ
Ten export-oriented projects will be launched in Pavlodar Special Economic Zone in Kazakhstan in the next two years. They include production of aluminum profiles, radiators, household chemicals, polymeric containers, heating boilers, and artificial stone sinks, Governor of the Pavlodar Region Bulat Bakauov said at the final reporting meeting, noting that these products should drive out of the market their imported analogues.
Turkmenistan Hopes to Increase Transit Cargo Transportation from China
Turkmenistan’s logistics potential in the field of transit cargo transportation has increased taking into account the commissioned Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran transnational railway. The foreign partners, including China, pay more attention to the transit potential of this route, which has become an important link in the North-South and East-West transport corridors.
(Sources: Astana Times, AzerNews, Foreign Brief, PanArmenian Net, Reuters, Trend News Agency, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration.)