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discovery of gas and condensate (liquid gas) at its offshore Shah Deniz field is likely to reinforce Baku's quest to control oil and gas pipeline projects from the Caspian. President Aliyev planned toriefing Monday for other Shah Deniz shareholders on the discovery and proposed export strategics.
According to the field's operator. BP Amoco, initial tests indicate Shah Deniz holdsillion cubic meters of gas, making it the largest discovery in the Caspian since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
In addition, (he fieldillion barrels ofto produce0 barrels acould be fedain export pipeline with oil produced by the Azerbaijan International Operating Company
The discovery will enable Azerbaijan toignificant gas exporter when the field is developed in four or five years. With assurances from Turkish Presidenl Demirel that Turkey will buy all the gas Azerbaijan can provide, Azerbaijan is wasting no time in promoting its imageajor gas exporter.
Power Play Could Delay Projects
Baku's focus on its own oil and gas export needs and its determination to control major transport projects through Azerbaijan will aggravate already tenuous regional cooperation. In addition, it may discourage other producers, especially Kazakhstan and TVrrkmentstan. from rxirticipaling tn developing the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the trans-Caspian gas pipeline and prompt them to seek other export routes through Russia and Iran.
If Baku blocks the trans-Caspian pipeline from Turkmenistan to protect its own gas export markets while it develops Shah Deniz and overcomes processing bottlenecks, ii could lose the Turkish gas market to Russia and Iran, which are moving ahead with competing projects to deliver gas to Turkey.
The commercial developers of Shah Deniz are meeting in Baku this week toas-marketing working group.!