Azeri President expected to sign deals with Mobil, Exxon, Frontera and Conoco
Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev expects to strike up to four deals with US petroleum companies during visit to
California next month, Azeri officials say.
"We are preparing for signature of three off-shore and one on-shore contract, and those which will be ready will be signed in the US," said Davud Yagubov of the state oil concern SOCAR.
Mobil has won a 30 % share in four fields in the southern Caspian, containing approximately 120-150 tonnes of oil and expecting an investment of $ 2 to $ 3 bn, Yagubov said.
SOCAR received 50 % of the contract, which include the Lerik and Savalan oil structures, while the final 20 % will be assigned later, Yagubov said.
Yagubov also said that SOCAR is preparing to sign a contract with Exxon for the south Caspian deep-water structures D9 and D38, containing some 100 mm tonnes of oil.
In addition, SOCAR hopes to sign an agreement on basic principles with Frontera Resources for the Agstafa on-shore field, which will be split 50-50 and contain some 100 mm - 300 mm tonnes of crude.
Yagubov added that Azerbaijan was currently conducting talks for a basic agreement with Conoco to rehabilitate the shallow-water portion of the Guneshli off-shore field, with some 80 mm - 115 mm tonnes of oil.
The contracts will be a welcome extra for Azerbaijan's economy and Aliyev's government, which has seen several western oil companies withdrawing in recent months due to disappointing drilling results and low oil prices.
Aliyev travels to Los Angeles on April 27 and 28 after attending a NATO summit in New York, to participate in a conference on Azerbaijan's political and commercial priorities in the 21st century.