Analysis Materials 12 May 2006 12:02 (UTC +04:00)

Helge Lund, CEO of STATOIL, arrived in Azerbaijan with a 2-day visit on 2 May this year. This is his first visit to Azerbaijan. During this stay Lund was updated on companys activities in the country, and will meet with Government officials.

Statoil was among the first foreign companies to establish operations in Azerbaijan in 1992. Today, Azerbaijan is one of Statoil's international core areas, and Statoil is one of the biggest investors in Azerbaijan. Between 1992 and 1Q 2006, the company has spent close to 2.81 billion USD on its activities in the country.

Statoil is the Operator for the Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company, responsible for gas sales to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Statoil is also the Commercial Operator of the South Caucasus Pipeline Company where Statoil owns 25.5%. The company holds an 8.71% share in the BTC pipeline for export of Azerbaijani and Caspian oil from Azerbaijan, via Georgia to Turkey.

Azerbaijan is an important partner of Statoil; the total amount of company` s investments to the country is $2, 4, Statoil executive director, Helge Lund told at the press-conference on May 3, Trend reports.

During my 2 day stay in Baku I was acquainted with the implementation of projects, in which we are involved. Region` s potential lies in implementation of these projects. Together with our partners we will try to implement Stage -2 of Shah Deniz project before 2012 or earlier, he said.

Statoil owns 8, 6% in Azeri-Chiraq-Guneshli (ASG), 25, 5% in Shahdeniz, 15% in Alov-Araz- Sharg. Statoil is an operator of gas supplies in Azerbaijan and it is responsible for gas sales in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. It also serves as a commercial operator of South- Caucasus pipeline company, owning 25, 5% of its assets. Statoil also has 8, 71% share in BTC project, designed to export Azerbaijani and Caspian oil from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia.

We reached agreement that we should continue cooperating in frames of the Stage-2 of Shah-Deniz project, so we discussed perspectives of accelerating the project with our partners and the government, the director said.

Speaking about competition between Shah-Deniz and Gasprom in gas supplies, Lund said, that Europe as well as United States are in need of several energy suppliers.

As for Statoil` s interest in operatorship in a new and promising structure in Azerbaijani sector of Caspian Sea, Lund assured that Statoil is really ready to operate more structures in Azerbaijan.

And of course, we are evaluating new business opportunities in Azerbaijan. However, now we hold talks only at the general level without focusing on any particular structure in Azerbaijan, he concluded.