Azerbaijan looks beyond energy successes for economic growth

Azerbaijan’s growing economy undoubtedly benefits from its oil and gas developments, but the country also has laid a strong foundation to move into other sectors that deserves closer attention, participants at a two-day conference agreed.

“The energy sector is not an end in itself, but a means to an end,” observed Jonathan H. Elkind, acting assistant secretary for international affairs at the US Department of Energy. “Energy serves as the backbone for our economies. It underpins many other activities.”

The US has a long relationship with Azerbaijan which it intends to maintain because it wants a diversified global hydrocarbon economy, Elkind said during a panel discussion at the 2014 US-Azerbaijan Convention organized by the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan clearly has benefited from a huge body of work over 20 years, yet some of its most significant decisions still lie ahead,” Elkind said. “It has succeeded in attracting leading energy companies, but is ready to offer new opportunities for other businesses and industries.

Completion of the 2,500th tanker loading at the Ceyhan terminal in Turkey a week earlier underscored what Azerbaijan has achieved in opening a route for Caspian Basin crude oil to reach European customers, he indicated. “The coercive use of energy we’ve seen elsewhere in recent weeks has emphasized the importance of this,” Elkind said. “It underscores what Azerbaijan has achieved.”

In best US interests

Another panelist, Brian M. Lopp, who directs international operations and policy in Boeing Co.’s government operations division and is a member of the Azerbaijan-US Chamber of Commerce, noted, “There’s no mistaking that we have a very committed energy partner in Azerbaijan.”

He said, “But a lot is happening beyond energy. I think it would be in the best interests of the US to put more emphasis on trade and investment opportunities in Azerbaijan.” Lopp said he hoped the US Department of Commerce would do more to promote economic opportunities in Azerbaijan to more US companies.

Meanwhile, Nargiz Nasullayev-Muduroglu, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan (AmCham), said, “There aren’t enough US companies in Azerbaijan, even in the oil and gas sector.” Forty such companies are there already, and there are others working in communications and transportation, she added.

“A key to success is a climate which allows businesses to survive,” said Nasullayev-Muduroglu, noting that a public-private sector dialogue has grown the last 25 years which encourages businesses to develop recommendations to the government, with more than half that were submitted in 2011 already adopted. “We’re in a constant dialogue,” she said. “It’s not always easy, but it’s constructive.”

Julia Nesheiwat, deputy assistant US secretary of state for implementation in the Bureau of Energy Resources, said, “We need to recognize we’re energy interdependent and quit talking about energy independence. We should be ready to engage more to make sure overseas markets are connected.”

Azerbaijan and its government need to attract more private sector companies with the necessary resources and expertise, she added. It was a point with which Elkind quickly agreed. “Many of the leading international oil companies actually are technologically savvy enterprises,” he said, adding, “It’s important to have partners with a global reach.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices settle above $51/bbl

02/09/2015 Crude oil prices rose on the New York market Feb. 6 to settle above $51/bbl after the Baker Hughes Inc. weekly rig count showed a decline of 87 rig...

Statoil reduces capital budget by $2 billion following 4Q losses

02/06/2015 Statoil ASA has reduced its organic capital expenditure to $18 billion in 2015 from $20 billion in 2014. The move comes on the heels of a fourth qu...

Chinese regulators approve Sinopec’s plan for grassroots refinery

02/06/2015 China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Nation...

BOEM schedules public meetings about draft proposed 5-year OCS plan

02/06/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the first of 20 public meetings in Washington on Feb. 9 to receive public comments on potential ...

Union strike ongoing at US refineries as negotiations continue

02/06/2015 A strike by union workers at nine US refining and petrochemical production plants remains under way as the United Steelworkers Union (USW) continue...

NCOC lets $1.8-billion pipeline contract for Kashagan field

02/06/2015 North Caspian Operating Co. (NCOC) has let a $1.8-billion engineering and construction contract to ERSAI Caspian Contractor LLC, a subsidiary of Sa...

AOPL releases 2015 safety performance and strategic planning report

02/06/2015 The Association of Oil Pipe Lines is committed to further improvements despite a 99.99% safe petroleum liquids delivery rate, AOPL Pres. and Chief ...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price bounces back up somewhat

02/06/2015 Crude oil prices on the New York market bounced up $2/bbl to settle slightly above $50/bbl Feb. 5. The positive momentum continued during early Jan...

Congressional Republicans renew bid to halt sue-and-settle maneuvers

02/05/2015 Calling it an affront to regulatory accountability that results in unchecked compliance burdens, US Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and US Rep. D...
White Papers

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected