Azerbaijan key to energy diversity

Oct. 31, 2008 at 7:33 PM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Leaders in the state-run oil sector of Azerbaijan met Friday with U.S. commerce representatives to discuss oil export matters through major pipeline arteries.

Rovnag Abdullayev, president of the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic, said, following a meeting with U.S. Deputy Commerce Secretary John Sullivan, that Western support for key energy routes in the region satisfied Azeri export needs, the Azerbaijan Business Center reported.

"Supported by the … Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline have solved the problem of Azerbaijan's hydrocarbon export," said Abdullayev. "The Baku-Supsa oil pipeline is going to be resumed in the near future, and the issue regarding diversification of the export ways will be solved."

For his part, Sullivan praised the role SOCAR had played in addressing European energy security by cooperating in the effort to ease regional dependence on Russian natural resources.

"SOCAR has gained wide influence throughout the world," Sullivan said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish state-owned oil and gas pipeline firm BOTAS said 495 million barrels of Azeri crude was shipped from terminal ports on the BTC pipeline since coming online in 2005.

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