Aug. 2 (UPI) — A party to an OPEC-led consortium working to balance an oversupplied market, Azerbaijan reported oil exports were higher in July than in June.
The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic reported total July exports from two ports of 13.2 million barrels. Exports reported from three ports in June were 12.9 million barrels.
The increase in exports follows a forecast for a decline in production from the economists at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC in its July report said total output from producers formerly counted as the Soviet Union would grow, though Azerbaijan was one of those expecting a contraction.
OPEC said a lack of new developments in Azerbaijan is contributing to production declines.
“It is estimated that the country’s oil supply will decline by 60,000 barrels per day, to average 790,000 bpd,” OPEC reported.
Azerbaijan is one of 11 non-OPEC producers contributing to a multilateral effort to offset a lopsided market with managed production declines. Their combined target for a reduction is 558,000 bpd, with most of that contribution coming from Russia. Higher exports from Azerbaijan should matter in OPEC’s effort short-term, but balance out against domestic inventories over a period of time.
Azerbaijan is geographically positioned as an energy bridge between Europe and Asia and a dominant producer of oil and natural gas. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is among the larger legacy networks in the world and the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli complex of fields in the Caspian Sea are among the biggest, with 5.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
In an April profile of its economy, Moody’s Investors Service said Azerbaijan was exposed to market risks because of its dependency on hydrocarbons.
“In an era of ‘low for longer’ oil and gas prices, the economy is not likely to grow quickly in the next few years,” the profile read.