Azerbaijan's state energy company has announced the discovery of a major natural gas field off the country's Caspian Sea coast.
Socar's vice president Khoshbakht Yusifzade said Monday that the Absheron field, which is operated by French company Total, holds at least 350 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 45 million tons of gas condensate.
Yusifzade says the find takes Azerbaijan's total proven gas reserves to 2.55 trillion cubic meters, according to a report of the Associated Press.
Socar expects gas production at Absheron to begin in by 2021-22. Yusifzade says that date could be brought forward to 2016-18 if an offshore platform is built at the site.
Total and Socar each hold a 40 percent stake in the Absheron project. The remaining 20 percent is held by GDF Suez.