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International Monetary Fund

This paper assesses Azerbaijan’s 2001 Article IV Consultation, First Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria. Economic and financial performance was satisfactory, and all quantitative performance criteria were met. Implementation of structural reforms was somewhat slower than programmed, and the authorities are requesting waivers for nonobservance of three structural performance criteria for end-September 2001 and the continuous performance criterion on the stock of external arrears. The adoption of regulations on the oil fund budget was done on time.

International Monetary Fund

This paper evaluates Azerbaijan’s 2003 Article IV Consultation, Second Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and Requests for Waivers of Performance Criteria, Extension of Arrangement and Rephasing of Purchases. Performance relative to the quantitative targets under the program was strong, as all quantitative performance criteria and most indicative targets were met. Implementation of the structural reforms under the program was slower than planned, delaying completion of the second review. The authorities are requesting several waivers related to delays in structural reforms.

International Monetary Fund

This paper assesses Azerbaijan’s 2001 Article IV Consultation, First Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria. Economic and financial performance was satisfactory, and all quantitative performance criteria were met. Implementation of structural reforms was somewhat slower than programmed, and the authorities are requesting waivers for nonobservance of three structural performance criteria for end-September 2001 and the continuous performance criterion on the stock of external arrears. The adoption of regulations on the oil fund budget was done on time.

International Monetary Fund

This paper evaluates Azerbaijan’s 2003 Article IV Consultation, Second Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and Requests for Waivers of Performance Criteria, Extension of Arrangement and Rephasing of Purchases. Performance relative to the quantitative targets under the program was strong, as all quantitative performance criteria and most indicative targets were met. Implementation of the structural reforms under the program was slower than planned, delaying completion of the second review. The authorities are requesting several waivers related to delays in structural reforms.

Mr. Clinton R. Shiells, Mr. John R Dodsworth, and Mr. Paul Henri Mathieu
This paper explores from a regional perspective the distorted nature of trade in energy products within the CIS countries. The persistence of pricing distortions, barter arrangements, and discriminatory access to pipelines, as well as failure to honor contracts, has disrupted and distorted energy exports to non-CIS countries, undermined energy sector reforms, and distorted investment decisions. The paper focuses on cross-border issues as an integral component of the wider problem of inefficient energy use within the CIS. Several policy recommendations are proposed, including measures to foster greater competition, reduce state involvement, and promote regional cooperation.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix estimates the size of quasi-fiscal subsidies implicit in domestic energy policies in Azerbaijan. The paper highlights that from a consolidated public sector perspective, quasi-fiscal subsidies are no cheaper than fiscal or on-budget subsidies. Eventually, the budget bears the cost of the quasi-fiscal activity via reduced tax or dividend payments. The only difference between the quasi-fiscal subsidy and the on-budget subsidy is transparency. The paper also outlines a method for estimating energy-related quasi-fiscal subsidies.
International Monetary Fund
This paper evaluates Azerbaijan’s 2003 Article IV Consultation, Second Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and Requests for Waivers of Performance Criteria, Extension of Arrangement and Rephasing of Purchases. Performance relative to the quantitative targets under the program was strong, as all quantitative performance criteria and most indicative targets were met. Implementation of the structural reforms under the program was slower than planned, delaying completion of the second review. The authorities are requesting several waivers related to delays in structural reforms.
Mr. Jonathan C Dunn, Mr. Andreas Billmeier, and Mr. Bert van Selm
Starting in 2005, nontax revenue in Georgia is expected to rise significantly, in the form of transit fees for oil transported through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline. Transit fees for gas transported through the South Caucasus Pipeline are expected to start in 2007. This paper discusses (1) how much additional revenue can be expected, (2) prospects for monetizing gas that could be received as in-kind transit fees, in the light of pervasive nonpayment in the domestic gas sector, (3) the impact of these inflows on external competitiveness, (4) how to put in place appropriate reporting on these additional revenues, and (5) whether these inflows justify the creation of a special natural resource fund.
Mr. Nikolay Aleksandrov, Mr. lajos Gyurko, and Mr. Raphael A Espinoza
We study the optimal oil extraction strategy and the value of an oil field using a multiple real option approach. The numerical method is flexible enough to solve a model with several state variables, to discuss the effect of risk aversion, and to take into account uncertainty in the size of reserves. Optimal extraction in the baseline model is found to be volatile. If the oil producer is risk averse, production is more stable, but spare capacity is much higher than what is typically observed. We show that decisions are very sensitive to expectations on the equilibrium oil price using a mean reverting model of the oil price where the equilibrium price is also a random variable. Oil production was cut during the 2008–2009 crisis, and we find that the cut in production was larger for OPEC, for countries facing a lower discount rate, as predicted by the model, and for countries whose governments’ finances are less dependent on oil revenues. However, the net present value of a country’s oil reserves would be increased significantly (by 100 percent, in the most extreme case) if production was cut completely when prices fall below the country's threshold price. If several producers were to adopt such strategies, world oil prices would be higher but more stable.
Mr. Aleh Tsyvinski, Mr. Martin Petri, and Mr. Günther Taube
A decade into the transition, many of the successor states of the former Soviet Union (FSU) continue to use energy sector quasi-fiscal activities (QFAs), especially low energy prices and the toleration of payment arrears, to provide large implicit and untargeted subsidies. These activities disguise the overall size of the government, cause overconsumption and waste, and contribute to macroeconomic imbalances. This paper analyses such activities in FSU countries, with particular emphasis on two case studies (Azerbaijan and Ukraine). The paper's policy conclusions point to the need to increase energy prices, combined with a strengthening of safety nets to protect the poor, better enforcement of payment discipline, and more efforts to achieve fiscal transparency.