Baku Stops Buying Turkmen gas
Azerbaijan will not import Turkmen gas next year, state-run Socar told NGW November 6, as it has enough of its own. Socar announced October 24 that it will stop importing Russian gas.
“Next year production growth will meet both export obligations and domestic demand, while currently there are up to 3bn m³ in the underground storage facilities”, Socar said. A source also told NGW that Socar is closing its office in Iran.
According to a contract deal between Baku and Ashgabat signed in 2016, Turkmenistan is delivering gas to Iran in the northeast where Iran has a shortage, and Iran delivers the same amount from its northwest to Azerbaijan, receiving a 15% cash fee.
Azerbaijan’s imports from both Russia and Turkmenistan rose 22.6% year-on-year to 1.59bn m³ for the first nine months of 2018, while its exports grew 5.8% to 6.48bn m³. A Socar official told NGW recently that Shah Deniz is expected to raise production by 1.8bn m3 this year and reach 12bn m3.
According to the 2019 draft budget submitted to parliament, it also estimates sales gas output to reach 21.92bn m³ this year, some 15.6% more than last year.
Most of next year's growth is expected to come from increasing Shah Deniz stage 1, together with the inauguration of the field’s second phase in late July.