Azeris sign $2 bn Caspian Sea development deal

Dec 14, 1996 01:00 AM

Azerbaijan and a consortium of foreign oil companies led by Amoco Eurasian Petroleum Company signed a $2 bn deal in Baku to develop the Ashrafi and Dan Ulduzu oil fields. The 25-year contract is Azerbaijan's fourth major deal with a consortium of Western companies, in the Caucasus republic's Caspian Sea reserves. Amoco said it hopes to sign another exploration agreement soon. The consortia in the deal include Amoco Eurasian, with a 30 % stake, Unocal with 25.5 %, Japan's Itochu with 20 % and Saudi Arabia's Delta Nimir with 4.5 %. The Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR will have a 20 % stake in the deal and Azeri oil officials say 65 to 80 % of profits from the development of the fields will go to the Azeri government. The Ashrafi and Dan Ulduzu fields lie appoximately 30 ml off the Apsheron peninsula. They are spread over 453 sqkm (175 sqml) at depths of 75 to 200 m (246 to 656 ft) and are estimated to contain 150 mmt of crude and between 30 and 50 bncm of natural gas. First production is expected to come on line in 2003 and will reach 7 mmt per year by 2007. The deal brings total western investment in Azerbaijan's promising oil sector to over $ 12 bn.

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