Azeri protest to Lasmo, Shell and Iran deal.
Azerbaijan has launched an official protest to the British cabinet in connection with the signing of an agreement on
the development of oil fields in the southern part of the Caspian Sea by Lasmo, Shell and Iran.
A similar protest will be launched to Lasmo and Shell to question the lawfulness of the deal in the disputable section, sources told.
Azerbaijan is accusing Iran of encroaching on its sector of the Caspian Sea. A statement from the Azeri oil ministry
said that the plans were "inadmissible" as the area covered reached into the Azeri sector of the sea.
The heated reaction of Baku is caused by the unsettled problem of the Caspian Sea division between coastal states. Azerbaijan favours a geographic division of the Sea, and Iran stands for a joint ownership of all Caspian energy resources by all the coastal nations.
Iran has previously said that the Caspian's resources should be shared equally between all five littoral states: Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
A Shell official said the study would not take place outside Iranian waters.
Total, Gazprom, Malaysia's Petronas, Canada's Bow Valley and Premier of the UK are the only foreign oil firms currently working in Iran. BP has recently opened an office in Tehran.