Azerbaijani oil fund cites revenues from ACG, Shah Deniz projects

By Aynur Jafarova

Since early 2001, the state oil fund SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, has received over $89.428 billion within the implementation of the project on developing the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (AGC) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, SOFAZ told Trend news agency on August 28.

According to SOFAZ, from early 2013 to August 26 it has received over $10.657 billion under the ACG project.

The ACG block of fields has been producing since 1997. The production started from the Chirag part of the field and continues successfully. This was followed by the Azeri Project: Central Azeri production started in February 2005, West Azeri began producing in December 2005, and East Azeri came on stream in October 2006. The Deepwater Gunashli section launched production in April 2008.

Equity participation in the ACG contract is as follows: BP (operator) with 35.78 percent, Chevron with 11.27 percent, Inpex with 10.96 percent, AzACG with 11.65 percent, Statoil with 8.56 percent, Exxon with 8 percent, TPAO with 6.75 percent, Itochu with 4.3 percent; Hess has sold its 2.72 percent share to India's ONGC.

Furthermore, since 2007 SOFAZ has received over $1.467 billion within the implementation of the project on the development of the giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea.

According to SOFAZ, the volume of revenues to the fund within the Shah Deniz project amounted to $254.6 million from early 2013 to August 26.

The Shah Deniz field, which is one of the world's largest gas-condensate fields, was discovered in 1999. Its reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas. Overall, the field has proved to be a secure and reliable supplier of gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey as well as Europe.

Currently, the potential daily volume of production at Shah Deniz is 27.3 million cubic meters of gas (depending on demand) and 55,000 barrels of condensate.

SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million. The main purposes of the fund are the accumulation of funds and placement of assets abroad to minimise the negative impact on the economy, preventing the 'Dutch disease', to ensure savings for future generations, and to maintain the current social and economic standards in the country.

According to SOFAZ's investment strategy, up to five percent of the fund's total investment portfolio may be invested in stock, up to five percent - in real estate, and another five percent in gold.