WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan's importance as a natural gas producer and exporter is growing with developments at its Shah Deniz field, the U.S. Energy Department said.
The Energy Information Administration, the analytical arm of the department, said most of the 35 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves in Azerbaijan are associated with the offshore Shah Deniz field.
"In the first quarter of 2013, the field produced about 951 million cubic feet per day and about 55,300 barrels per day of condensate," its updated analysis said Tuesday.
Azerbaijan's export base has expanded from its traditional partner Turkey to include members of the European Union.
The EIA's analysis said Shah Deniz gas would move through expansions on the existing South Caucasus pipeline that will connect to the Trans Anatolian pipeline, dubbed TANAP, and Trans Adriatic pipeline. TANAP will transport Shah Deniz gas through Turkey to the Greek border. BP in June picked TAP to carry Shah Deniz gas from there to the European Union.
TAP developers said Monday they started land easement and acquisition activities for the 540-mile pipeline system through Albania, Greece, and Italy.
Azerbaijan became a natural gas exporter in 2007. It imported natural gas from Russia up until that time.