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absheron gas field inauguration signifies new energy partnerships in the caspian region

Absheron Gas Field Inauguration Signifies New Energy Partnerships in the Caspian Region

Author: Samantha Fanger

Sep 7, 2023

Image source: Shutterstock

On August 31, an inauguration ceremony for the Absheron gas and condensate field was held in Baku. The event marked the success of phase one of the energy cooperation project and the launching of its second phase. At the event, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy, Mikayil Jabbarov, and the Chairman of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Supervisory Board gave opening remarks—both emphasizing the importance of the project, not just for Azerbaijan, but for global energy cooperation. 

The Absheron gas and condensate field, situated 100 kilometers southeast of Baku, stands as the Caspian Sea's second-largestreserve of natural gas. Those in attendance—including Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov, and SOCAR president Rovshan Najaf—discussed progress made towards the second phase of the Absheron field development and plans to increase the field’s production to 5.5 bcm. 

In addition to its material contributions to the global energy market, the Absheron field production also signifies a new wave of international partnerships. In August 2023, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) finalized an agreement for the acquisition of a 30 percent stake in the Absheron gas basin, while the Azerbaijani-owned SOCAR and the French energy corporation, TotalEnergies, continue to hold equal shares of 35 percent. Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, said he is “very pleased to inaugurate Absheron, alongside the national company SOCAR and our new partner ADNOC. Discovered by our exploration team, this gas field provides additional gas resources to contribute to diversifying gas supply for Europe.” According to SOCAR President Rovshan Najaf, the deal serves as a broader testament to Baku's reliability as an international energy partner. Musabbeh Al Kaabi, the Executive Director of Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth at ADNOC, pledged to responsibly meet the world's energy needs by harnessing resources from “world-class assets” such as Absheron. He emphasized that this agreement cements a "strategic partnership" with SOCAR and TotalEnergies, unlocking the vast potential of the Caspian region for decades to come. 

Moreover, these partnerships extend to renewable energy ventures, underscoring the strategic potential of Azerbaijan and the broader Caspian region. TotalEnergies, for instance, unveiled plans to harness Azerbaijan's renewable energy potential. Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2023, they aim to assess and develop 500 MW of renewable wind and solar energies, along with energy storage systems for the national grid. These plans align with their multi-energy strategy and their intention to support Azerbaijan in its own energy transition strategy, which includes renewable energy and electricity storage.

As the energy sector evolves rapidly on both regional and global fronts, security considerations have become paramount in energy cooperation. Collaborative endeavors like the Absheron gas field project have taken on heightened importance in this context, illustrating the intricate relationship between energy, security, and the shared aspirations of nations worldwide. Azerbaijan, the UAE, and France's joint efforts to tap into the Caspian region's vast energy resources and their commitment to working together towards sustainable practices not only fortify global energy security but also accelerate the transition to a resilient energy landscape.  The Absheron gas field venture stands as a testament to a promising outlook for a secure, sustainable, and interconnected energy future.


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