Azerbaijan to be the first to "freeze" oil
Azerbaijan will declare that it will not increase its oil production and exports at the meeting of OPEC member countries in Vienna on October 29, the Energy Minister of the Republic Natig Aliyev said.
"We are ready to contribute to reaching an agreement to stabilize the oil prices. I don’t think the non-OPEC states will oppose a final decision to limit oil production. The main thing is to eliminate the contradictions among Iran, Libya, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia," the Energy Minister of Azerbaijan explained.
OPEC invited 12 non-OPEC states to participate in the technical meeting in Vienna. Azerbaijan is one of those countries, RIA Novosti cited the head of the press service of Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry, Zamina Aliyeva, as saying.
OPEC agreed to limit oil production in the range of 32.5-33 million barrels of oil per day at an informal meeting in Algeria in late September. However, there is no agreement on specific limits for each of the OPEC member-state.
A final decision will be made at the OPEC official meeting in Vienna on November 30.
The head of the 'Caspian Barrel' Center for Oil Research, Ilham Shaban, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted the political importance of Azerbaijan's initiative to "freeze" its oil production.
"Today, Azerbaijan supplies more than 700 thousand barrels of oil per day to the world market. While Baku is not in a position to influence world prices, it sets an example for others," he explained.
The "freeze" itself will not be very costly for Azerbaijan, as currently there is no increase in output in the country. "This year, thanks to the actions of BP Azerbaijan, the republic has been able to minimize the volumes of production decline for the first time since 2011: they were about 0.3% following the first 9 months of 2016. Since the end of 2016 the volumes of production will decline again due to objective reasons, but slowly, about 10 thousand barrels per day," Ilham Shaban explained.