Azerbaijani capital hosts energy ministers conference - UPDATED

Azerbaijani capital hosts energy ministers conference - <font color=red>UPDATED </font>
# 13 November 2008 16:17 (UTC +04:00)
The ministerial meeting was attended by representatives from 22 countries and the European Union.
Natig Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Industry and Energy, said his country produced 42.7 million tons of oil and 16.6 billion cubic meters of gas last year.
He cited preliminary estimate as saying the country is believed to have 2.2 billion tons of oil and 5.5 trillion cubic meters of gas in reserve.
According to him, Azerbaijan is expected to export 208.2 million tons of oil during the coming four years.
He added that the export rate through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is 850 000 barrels per day and the export rate is expected to reach one million barrels per day (approx. 50 million tonnes per year) by the end of 2008.
He briefed the participants about the energy projects, saying an oil refinery will be built in Moldova.
“Azerbaijan supports Odessa-Brody and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) projects that will take the Caspian hydrocarbons to Europe,” he added.
The ministerial conference will work on agenda, main and side issues to be discussed at the summit.
The ministers discussed a draft declaration that will be signed by presidents.
They discussed ways of transporting the Caspian hydrocarbons to Europe and only Kazakh delegation abstained in the issues to be included in the declaration.
Interestingly, Russian delegation and ambassador didn’t attend the conference although they were invited.
The summit will be joined by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, Estonian President Toomas-Hendrik Ilves, Latvian President Valdis Zatlers, Romanian President Traian Basescu, Bulgarian Vice President Angel Marin, as well as senior officials from the United States and other countries.
The summit will be the fourth after the first in Krakow,
The forthcoming summit is the fourth in series. The first was held in Krakow in May 2006, the second in Vilnius in November 2007, the third in Kiev in May this year.