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Azerbaijan Seeks $10 Billion to Build Oil, Gas, Chemical Complex

Azerbaijan, the third-largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union, plans to borrow more than $10 billion from foreign lenders to build a complex to refine crude and natural gas, the state energy company said.

The government will fund about 30 percent of the estimated $15 billion project, which will take the rest of the decade to complete, said Tofiq Qahramanov, vice president for strategic projects at State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, or Socar, said at a conference in Baku today.

The complex will be able to turn 10 billion to 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year into products including propane and butane, while the refinery will be able to process 10 million metric tons of crude annually, Qahramanov said, without providing further details.

Azerbaijan, on the western side of the Caspian Sea, exports oil and gas to European markets via the Black Sea and pipelines through Georgia and Turkey. The country produced 31.7 million metric tons of oil and 17.2 billion cubic meters of gas in the first eight months of the year, declines of 7.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Source: Bloomberg

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