Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the year 2020 was marked as a period of global recession, which affected SOCAR too. Under the OPEC+ agreement, SOCAR has significantly reduced both drilling operations and its oil production. The OPEC+ production cuts supported the recovery of oil and gas prices during the year. SOCAR also managed to ensure the sustainability of business operations, both within the framework of this agreement and by applying wider optimization. This is reflected in the key production figures.
In 2020, about 56 thousand meters1 of drilling work was conducted by SOCAR. The company produced 7.4 million tons2 of oil and 7.3 billion cubic meters3 of natural gas on the fields operated. The upward trend in total gas production in the country continued, while the oil production declined, mainly due to voluntary oil output cuts imposed by the OPEC+ agreement. Compared to 2019, total natural gas production increased by about 4% to 37.1 billion cubic meters4. During the year, Azerbaijan produced 34.5 million tons5 of crude oil.
In 2020, SOCAR exported 17.9 million tons6 of crude oil. Along with the volume of oil produced by its own, the company also exports the profit shares of the government of Azerbaijan and SOCAR in oil produced by international consortiums operated in Azerbaijan.
During the year, about 12 billion cubic meters7 of natural gas was consumed in the country. Azerbaijan's natural gas exports increased8 by 16% to 13.4 billion cubic meters9. In 2020, natural gas from Azerbaijan was exported to Turkey and Georgia. On the last day of 2020 first direct gas exports to the European market via Southern Gas Corridor started.
SOCAR's Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery processed 5.9 million tons10 of oil while SOCAR's Natural Gas Processing Plant's output was 3.8 billion cubic meters11 in 2020. The volume of gas processing grew by more than 17%, amidst relative decrease in oil refining due to the lower demand for oil products during pandemic.
During the year, exports of oil and petrochemical products (including polymers) amounted to ca. 2.4 million tons12. SOCAR Polymer exported 132,5 thousand tons13 of polymer products, including a variety of high-density polyethylene and polypropylene brands. This is a 58% increase, compared to 2019. The main export markets for Azerbaijan's polymer products are Russia, Turkey and China. SOCAR Polymer became the largest polypropylene exporter to Russia in 2020. Last year SOCAR Polymer taped into Austrian, Romanian and Georgian markets.
One of the noteworthy points is that 125 thousand tons14 of oil bitumen was exported during the year, a 10 fold increase to 2019. In the last decade, bitumen was mainly used for domestic needs. The commissioning of a new bitumen plant boosted production volumes and Azerbaijan resumed bitumen exports in 2019.
Note for editors : The figures in the text are rounded for better readability. You can find the exact figures in the footnotes.
1 55,906 meters
2 7,407,206 tons
3 7,344,012,000 cubic meters
4 37,140,900,000 cubic meters
5 34,538,848 tons
6 17,878,048 tons
7 11,955,648,000 cubic meters
8 Total natural gas exports are calculated on the basis of operative data and may be updated.
9 13,396,000,000 cubic meters
10 5,874,090 tons
113,762,990,000 cubic meters