June 1, 2018
From May 28 (Mon.) to 31 (Thur.), 2018, Mr. Daisaku Hiraki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Republic of Azerbaijan.
He attended the International Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference (ICOGC), an organization celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and held meetings with dignitaries of the government of Azerbaijan, including H.E. Mr. Novruz Mammadov, Prime Minister, and H.E. Mr. Parviz Shahbazov, Minister of Energy. At these meetings, both sides agreed that the countries will further enrich and promote cooperative relationships placing the fields of oil and gas at the core, as seen by the memorandum of cooperation (MOC) recently concluded between the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).
1. Attending the ICOGC
Azerbaijan is one of the most prioritized countries on Japan’s resource diplomacy as seen by the fact that in September 2017, the country agreed on extension of the production sharing agreement between Japanese companies on the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) oilfield for 25 more years. In light of this, further enhancing the presence of Japan in Azerbaijan, a geopolitically strategic location, and leading this to acquisition of new oil concessions are keys for Japan from the perspective of securing a stable energy supply in Japan.
The 25th ICOGC was held in Azerbaijan, bringing together Minister Shahbazov and other dignitaries of the government of Azerbaijan and many stakeholders from a wide variety of related countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
As a representative of the government of Japan, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki attended the 25th ICOGC and delivered a speech, stating: the importance of oil and gas resources in the Caspian Sea area for Japan, the potential of the area and the current situation of Japan’s efforts involving the Caspian Sea area; and also expressing Japan’s intention to proactively promote and expand cooperation projects in the fields of oil and gas to enrich relationships with Azerbaijan and other countries.
Delivering a speech at the ICOGC
Receiving an interview from local media
2. Meeting with Prime Minister Mammadov
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Mammadov for Azerbaijan’s agreement in September 2017 on extension of the production sharing agreement between Japanese companies on the ACG oilfield for 25 more years, a project in which INPEX CORPORATION and ITOCHU Corporation have been participating, and he also showed Japan’s expectations for further consolidation of the Japan-Azerbaijan relationship through continuous expansion of projects in the country under the MOC concluded between JOGMEC and SOCAR.
Prime Minister Mammadov expressed his gratitude to Japan for its efforts and support, including oil and gas resource development, human resource development and technical cooperation, and showed his expectations that such continuous, expanded efforts of Japan will contribute to bringing about benefits for both countries.
Both sides shared the importance of the Japan-Azerbaijan cooperation in non-resource fields, such as tourism and education, as well as in the fields of oil and gas, and agreed on further promotion of the cooperation.
Meeting with Prime Minister Mammadov
3. Meeting with Minister Shahbazov
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki stated the great importance of the ACG oilfields for Japan from the viewpoint of securing a steady energy supply in Japan, Japan’s intention to continue to contribute to oil and gas resource development in Azerbaijan, and further enrichment of the Japan-Azerbaijan relationship through the MOC concluded between JOGMEC and SOCAR.
Minister Shahbazov expressed his gratitude to Japan for its contribution to oil and gas resource development, human resource development, technical cooperation and other areas in the country, and showed his expectations on Azerbaijan’s willingness to establish a closer relationship with Japan in maintaining and developing Japan’s efforts.
Concerning the cooperation projects mainly in the fields of oil and gas, both sides agreed that the countries will proactively advance international cooperation and support and that both governments will continue to hold dialogues to advance and expand bilateral relationships in the future.
Meeting with Minister Shahbazov
Division in Charge
Petroleum and Natural Gas Division, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy