BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 1 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan is set to become one of the largest gas producers in the world, the Azeri president said in the wake of a deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom.
The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic and energy monopoly Gazprom signed a deal to secure 1.7 billion cubic feet per year from Azerbaijan in 2010, with the majority of the gas volumes coming from the massive Shah Deniz gas field.
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev described the deal as a way for his country to expand its energy potential by gaining access to new markets through the Gazprom deal, the Azerbaijan Business Center reports.
"For us a possibility to co-operate with Russia in gas area is also a possibility of access to a new market and a possibility to ensure diversification of gas supplies that is also important for gas producers Russia and Azerbaijan," he said.
Aliyev praised the ease of the deal, saying it could go forward without the need for intermediaries or the construction of new gas transit pipeline.
"We only needed to reach an agreement on technical and commercial parameters to ensure our countries' national interests," he said.