Total reveals why it sold its share in Shah Deniz field project

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 21

By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

French oil company Total revealed the reason behind selling its share in the Shah Deniz gas and condensate field project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

Total's planning development manager, Eric Meyer, said at the "Oil & Gas Week" conference in Baku Nov. 21 that the main reason for the sale of Total's share lies in its unwillingness to remain as a minority shareholder in the project.

Meyer said Total is seriously committed to its operations in Azerbaijan, but due to its unwillingness to remain a minority shareholder, the company withdrew from the project.

Among the partners in the Shah Deniz field's development there are SOCAR with a 16.7-percent share, the British BP (28.8 percent), the Norwegian Statoil (15.5 percent), Iran's NICO (10 percent), the French Total (10 percent), the Russian Lukoil (10 percent), and the Turkish TPAO (9 percent).

The contract for the development of the offshore field Shah Deniz, which has proven reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas, was signed June 4, 1996.

The gas produced as part of the Shah Deniz-1 is exported to Turkey and Georgia through the South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum).

In the second stage of the field's development, six billion cubic meters of gas per year will be exported to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters will be delivered to the European markets.

Gas supplies to Europe will be possible after the construction of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

"We will focus on the project of development of the Absheron field. The company is also considering other opportunities in Azerbaijan, which have a bright future," Meyer said.

The discovery of the major gas field Absheron was announced in September 2011, following the drilling of an exploration well.

The field's potential reserves stand at 350 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million metric tons of condensate. The production at the field is expected to start in 2021.

Among the Absheron project members there are SOCAR (40 percent), the French companies Total (40 percent) and Gaz De France Suez (20 percent).

In May 2014, the Turkish company TPAO and Total Azerbaijan signed a contract for the sale of a 10-percent share of Total in the Shah Deniz.

Under the contract, after the deal, TPAO's share in the project will increase to 19 percent.

Edited by S.I.

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