Azerbaijan eyes expanding reserve capacity

Sept. 19, 2008 at 1:26 PM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The government of Azerbaijan ordered banking officials to start a feasibility study for the construction of a new petrochemical facility for Caspian reserves.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev issued a decree mandating the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic to conduct studies to build a new gas refinery to handle Caspian reserves by 2012, the Azerbaijan Business Center reported Friday.

The complex will replace facilities in Baku constructed under the former Soviet Union. Included in the project are plans for oil and gas refineries with the capacity to produce around 670 million barrels of oil and about 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year.

The gas refinery is expected to come online by 2012, with the oil refinery following in 2018.

In related developments, SOCAR said Friday it launched a refurbishment project at its underground gas storage facilities to increase their holding capacity.

The two-year reconstruction project will boost the holding capacity for natural gas by 81 million cubic meters beyond its current capacity of about 1.7 billion cubic meters.

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