Gulmira Rzayeva

Research Associate

Gulmira joined the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies as a Research Associate in 2013. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies (SAM) under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and a Non-Resident Scholar at the Hazar Enstitutu (HASEN) in Istanbul. Her areas of expertise include the energy policy of Azerbaijan, Black Sea/Caspian region energy security and the Turkish domestic natural gas market. Ms Rzayeva has published articles on Azerbaijan’s gas strategy and Azerbaijan’s energy efficiency policy, and previously worked at the Moscow Carnegie Center as a Visiting Research Fellow and the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki. She has a BA in International Relations from the Baku Slavic University and an MA in Global Affairs from the University of Buckingham, UK

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                    [post_content] => As the birthplace of the oil and gas industry, Azerbaijan’s long and rich history is intertwined with hydrocarbon production, with oil drilling pre-dating activity in Pennsylvania by 13 years. The involvement of foreign oil companies in the late 1800s, including the Nobel Brothers, resulted in the country becoming the world’s foremost oil producer at the turn of that century. The Soviet era precluded further international investment, but saw a dramatic growth in gas production commencing in the 1920s. The 1990s witnessed the return of the IOCs with the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field (oil and associated gas) and the Shah Deniz (gas and condensate) field developments reversing the trend of production decline and creating an export surplus in both oil and gas.

In this paper, Gulmira Rzayeva provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges which were surmounted in the development of the Shah Deniz field, not least of which related to establishing export pipelines and marketing arrangements in Turkey, and (for Phase 2) Europe.

Turning to the future, the paper details the nature and estimated potential of partially developed fields, discoveries at varying stages of appraisal and prospective structures in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. Apart from the inevitable range of uncertainty over future production levels and timing, what emerges are the twin challenges of drilling rig availability (it being impossible to bring an assembled rig into the Caspian due to width restrictions on the Volga-Don canal) and the highly challenging sub-surface drilling conditions.

The modest prospects for domestic gas demand growth and Azerbaijan’s geographic location require that any future gas field development decision will also require a degree of certainty on export infrastructure capacity to the primary target markets of Turkey and South and South East Europe. These issues are covered in detail.

 

Executive Summary
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                    [post_content] => Over the past 10 years or so Turkey has featured prominently in the various schemes to open a ‘fourth corridor’ of gas supply to the core European national gas markets.  The grandeur of earlier visions has morphed into a pragmatic and initially more modest scheme to supply 10 Bcm/yr of gas beyond Turkey.  With the Euro-centric political excitement around ‘Nabucco’ on the wane the importance of the Turkish gas market in its own right has been overlooked.

In the post financial crisis period it should be noted that Turkey is the only significant European regional gas market to have shown strong growth post 2009 and its 45 Bcm consumption in 2012 places it on a par with France.  With domestic production contributing only 2% of its requirements Turkey imports pipeline gas from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran and LNG from a number of supplier countries.  Its likely continued rapid gas demand growth raises challenges not only of project logistics and timings but also, given its geographic location, those of a geopolitical dimension.  In addition to its long held aspiration to become a regional gas transit ‘bridge’ between Central Asia, Iran and Iraq and Europe, Turkey is also in the process of liberalizing its gas market, with mixed success to date.

It seems a paradox that the important, fast growing gas markets are also those with least data and analysis available.  This has certainly been the case with Turkey.  I am especially grateful to Gulmira Rzayeva for this paper, which is possibly the only comprehensive one in the English language on the Turkish gas market in recent times. Her dedication in conducting in-country research and interviews with key figures is admirable and in keeping with the record of the Gas Programme of insightful research on highly relevant market developments in this increasingly interconnected world of natural gas.
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In this paper, Gulmira Rzayeva provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges which were surmounted in the development of the Shah Deniz field, not least of which related to establishing export pipelines and marketing arrangements in Turkey, and (for Phase 2) Europe.

Turning to the future, the paper details the nature and estimated potential of partially developed fields, discoveries at varying stages of appraisal and prospective structures in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. Apart from the inevitable range of uncertainty over future production levels and timing, what emerges are the twin challenges of drilling rig availability (it being impossible to bring an assembled rig into the Caspian due to width restrictions on the Volga-Don canal) and the highly challenging sub-surface drilling conditions.

The modest prospects for domestic gas demand growth and Azerbaijan’s geographic location require that any future gas field development decision will also require a degree of certainty on export infrastructure capacity to the primary target markets of Turkey and South and South East Europe. These issues are covered in detail.

 

Executive Summary
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Latest Publications by Gulmira Rzayeva

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