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AZERBAIJAN


  
  

 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 7,124 6,090 5,600 102
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 810 710 650 146
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Azerbaijan

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
86,600

Population
7,868,385

Principal ethnic
groups
Azeri 90%
Russian 2.5%
Armenian 2%
Dagestani 3.2%
other 2.3

Capital
Baku

Currency
Azeri Manat

President
Ilham Aliyev



President
Ilham Aliyev
 


Update No: 306- (29/06/06)

Hopes for a deal fade
Although international mediators insist a breakthrough remains possible this year, Armenia and Azerbaijan appear to have lost the last realistic chance for a near-term deal to end the bitter conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. A face-to-face meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents on June 4th-5th again failed to make any headway toward a settlement. Observers see little prospect of that happening before national elections scheduled to take place in both south Caucasus states in 2007 and 2008.
Armenian Presidents, Robert Kocharian, and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, held two days of intensive negotiations for a second time in less than four months on the sidelines of a high-level forum of Black Sea nations in Romania. American, French and Russian diplomats spearheading the Karabakh peace process aimed to use the meeting to finalize a framework agreement. But Kocharian and Aliyev apparently refused to budge from their respective negotiating stances, despite strong pressure from mediators. 
The two leaders have so far declined to publicly comment on their Bucharest talks, leaving it to their foreign ministers to acknowledge that the talks ended in failure. Armenia's Vartan Oskanian told state television on June 6th, "They did not succeed in registering progress and giving a new impetus to resolving the Karabakh conflict." The same day, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, told reporters in Baku: "I can't assert that we have a major movement forward in the negotiating process."

Reasons for mutual stubbornness
Kocharian wants to leave a consistent record of defending the gains of Kharabak behind him. He was after all president of the enclave himself at the time and its leading warlord.
He has made it clear that he is stepping down in 2008 in presidential elections in the autumn being held after those in Russia in the summer. If Putin is prepared to go then, abiding by the constitutional precept of only two terms, so realises Kocharian should he. He does not want to be seen to be at all like Belarus president, Lukashenka, who changed the constitution to be re-elected last year for a third term.
Aliyev, who intends to be around a lot longer yet, is convinced that he has time on his side. Azerbaijan is having a massive oil boom, which is raising its diplomatic clout by the year. 
This is made clear in the following APA report.

Aliyev: "Revenues of Azerbaijan from oil export in next 20 years may reach US$140 billion" 
The inauguration of XIII International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition 2006 was held on June 14th at the Sport and Concert Complex named after Heydar Aliyev. 
Ilham Aliyev, The President of Azerbaijan, Matthew Bryza, US Deputy Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Georgian and Turkish officials, as well as diplomatic corps representatives and local governmental and state officials, participated in the event. 
Suleyman Tatliyev, Chairman Trade and Industry House of Azerbaijan, stated that 360 companies from 31 countries, as well as more than 100 local companies and organizations, were participating there. President Ilham Aliyev said in his speech that interest in the exhibition grows every year. He noted that being an oil country, Azerbaijan is always at the centre of attention. Mr. Aliyev has stated that Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan has already started its work and transported oil to the world market through the Mediterranean Sea, for the first time in history. "Without US political and moral support, it would have been hard to realize this project." 
The head of Azerbaijani state then talked about continuation of the construction over Baku-Tbilisi-Arzurum gas pipeline and added that it will be completed by end year. Saying that there is a huge opportunity for investments in Azerbaijan, Aliyev underlined stability in the country.
"Azerbaijan is an oil and gas exporting country. Experts say that if a barrel of oil is sold for 50 dollars in the next 20 years, Azerbaijan will make US$140 billion revenues," he said.

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ENERGY

Aliyev says Azerbaijan to fill BTC on its own


Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev, in a surprising statement at the press conference after the closing of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation summit in Baku on May 5th, said that Azerbaijan, considering its own oil production potential, can fill the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline by 2008. He noted that there will be no additional volumes from other countries, including Kazakstan oil, New Europe reported.
"By 2008 Azerbaijan will export 50m tonnes of oil. It is precisely how much the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline can pump today," Aliyec said. "Azerbaijan has created its transport infrastructure for its own resources."
The Kazak journalists sought clarification from Ilshat Nasyrov, spokesman of Azerbaijan's state oil company, and, trying to mitigate Aliyev's statement that Azerbaijan will be able to fill BTC independently, he explained that the country's self-sufficiency for BTC would exist only at the first stage of the pipeline's operation.
The pipeline can rely on Azerbaijan oil only until 2008, by which time the local reserves would start depleting gradually. "And by that time, by 2009-2010, big oil from Kashagan, Kazakstan, will start coming and then our production fall curve will coincide with the production growth curve," Nasyrov explained.
But, stating that BTC is filled solely with Azerbaijani oil today, Aliyev said was somewhat misleading. Kazak oil is already coming to BTC: the three million tonnes of Tengiz oil that are already delivered to Baku by tankers from Aktau and the one million tonnes that go directly to Iran.
However, Kazak oil is transferred there under the flag of BT - an English producer operating in Tengiz and acting as BY+TC operator at the same time. But in any case, this pipeline will not be able to go on long without Kazakstan oil. For example, oil from Kashagan will come to Baku in the volume of seven to 13 million tonnes with subsequent growth of supplies to 20 million tonnes.
Additionally, the legal procedures for Kazakstan to join the pipeline are still to be completed. Kazakstan and Azerbaijan have not signed a pipeline accession agreement yet, although the negotiations between the two countries have been in progress for over three years now.

Baku could review its gas export plans 

Azerbaijan could adjust its plans to export gas considering the problem with energy security around the world, Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, said. "We're thinking about changing our production plans for the Shah-Deniz gas deposit since gas demand is growing around the world," he said at the 13th annual oil and gas exhibition in Baku. "Europe is paying closer attention to energy security. Azerbaijan's weight and importance is growing and the country could even become a decisive factor in some instances," Interfax quoted him as saying.
Azerbaijan is working on a project to develop the Shah-Deniz gas deposit and will soon launch the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline to supply gas to Turkey, Aliyev said. Large oil and gas contracts have already been signed and are being implemented in Azerbaijan, but there is still interest in the country, he said. Azerbaijan has managed to implement large projects in a short period, he said.
The contract of the century was signed in 1994 to develop the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields, oil started being produced three years later and there are two successful pipelines today - Baku-Supsa and Baku-Novorossiisk. Moreover, production has started at the large Azeri field and Azerbaijan has started building the BTC pipeline.
"Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan is a historical project and the efforts of all organisations are needed in order to implement the project," Aliyev said. "I want to especially emphasise the political and moral support of the United States, without which it would have been very difficult to implement this project," he said.
Thanks to a successful oil strategy, Azerbaijan is living through a new stage of development today, Aliyev said. "Investing in Azerbaijan has become possible thanks to investor confidence in the stability of the country. There was US$20 billion invested to develop the oil and gas sector which made such big projects like Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan possible," he said.
"Azerbaijan will see a lot of profit from implementing these projects," Aliyev said. "Specialists estimate that Azerbaijan's revenue will be US$140 billion over the next 20 years based on an oil price of US$50 per barrel. This will allow Azerbaijan to repair its infrastructure, improve its vital activity and turn Azerbaijan into a strong country," Aliyev said.

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PETROCHEMICALS

US may invest 600m Euro in Azeri petrochemicals

American companies are ready to invest up to 600m Euro in building a large petrochemical complex in Azerbaijan, Azeri economic development minister, Heidar Babaev, said recently, Interfax News Agency reported.
"During a visit to the US by Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, at the end of April, US companies came forward with an initiative to carry out major investment in the country's petrochemical complex," he said. He also said that investment in setting up a complex to process oil and gas and produce chemicals would amount to about 500m Euro-600m Euro.

 

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