Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 19 / Trend /
The British Petroleum (BP) signed a contract with Azerbaijan to develop prospective natural gas fields in the Caspian Sea following the incident with an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the German socio-legal media company DeutscheWelle wrote.
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and the British BP signed a PSA for exploration and development of Shafag and Asiman fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea on Oct. 7. The signing ceremony was attended by BP CEO Robert Dudley.
The contract was signed for 30 years. In the operational period the sides will implement joint operatorship within the project. Share participation in the contract is expected on the scheme 50 to 50 percent. Stocks of the structure are estimated at 300 -500 billion cubic meters of gas. Shafag and Asiman fields are located in 125 kilometers to the south-east of Baku. Exploration work has not been conducted on the block before. It is located in the depth of 650-800 meters with the depth of the reservoir at 7,000 meters.
Director of the Azerbaijani news agency Trend Vagif Sharifov said BP conducts highly successful oil and gas operations in Azerbaijan, DeutscheWelle reported. The BP- SOSAR contract was signed at a time when new pipelines are expected to be built in the region, which will allow meeting European consumers' energy demand, Sharifov added.
Appraising the important aspects of the new contract, Sharifov said BP testified itself as one of the reliable partners during the activities in Azerbaijan.
The company's financial status significantly suffered after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. According to BP representatives the company's expenses to eliminate the spill and the subsequent work may amount to $32 billion.
The BP- SOSAR contract has nothing to do with the incident of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which resulted in the fall of BP shares, Sharifov said.
Sharifov said the economic activity of BP and other European oil and gas companies in the Caspian Sea in the next three to four years will make a significant contribution to the development of the region where, in particular, will be built new pipelines.
DeutscheWelle reported that a question about the environmental performance of BP in the Caspian Sea arose after the incident in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the forecasts of several experts, BP will sell its shares in the Caspian Sea and be unable to invest new investments due to major economic losses.
However, Jamestown Foundation's expert on gas Vladimir Sukur takes an opposite standpoint, noting that rumors about the sale of BP's shares in Azerbaijan are unfounded. "Azerbaijan is of great importance for BP and its shares in Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector will increase," Sukur said.
He said despite the economic losses of BP in the Gulf of Mexico, the company is able to strengthen its activities in the Caspian Sea and attract more investment.