TOTAL denies media outlets on closure of Baku office
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 15 / Trend , V.Sharifov/
The French TOTAL denied some media outlets on closure of the company's Baku office in July. TOTAL told Trend that they indeed closed the office of TOTAL Exploration and Production Azerbaijan, established in 1997 to participate in the project on development of the Absheron offshore unit where the company possesses 20 percent of stakes. However, the office of TOTAL E&P Absheron BV successfully continues its activity.
Besides TOTAL Exploration and Production Azerbaijan, the American ChevronTexaco (operator - 30 percent) and SOCAR - 50 percent in the PSA contract on the Absheron unit, signed on Aug. 1 in 1997. Later, the partners on the Absheron decided to close the project after revealing commercially unattractive volumes of hydrocarbon.
Several years later, TOTAL launched discussions with SOCAR on perspective of its participation in the Absheron project. As a result of the talks, in February 2009, TOTAL E&P Absheron BV acquired 60 percent of shares in the Absheron project and SOCAR - 40 percent. Later this year, TOTAL E&P Absheron BV assigned 20 percent of its shares in the Absheron project to Gaz de France SUEZ (GDF/SUEZ) company.
The current shareholders of the Absheron unit are the Azerbaijani SOCAR - 40 percent, French TOTAL - 40 percent and GDF/SUEZ - 20 percent.
One exploration well worth $100 million will be drilled in the Absheron unit for three years. Its designed depth will hit 6,500 meters. Drilling can begin by late 2009.
Two exploration wells can be drilled further within three years. The Absheron unit is 100 kilometers of Baku and at 500 meters of depth.