By Fatma Babayeva
Azerbaijan state owned energy company SOCAR and BP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly explore potential prospects in the block D230 in the North Absheron Basin in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, according to a joint statement by SOCAR and BP issued May 24.
As part of the government's plan to ensure that all of Azerbaijan's offshore waters are fully explored, this MOU gives BP the exclusive right to negotiate an agreement with SOCAR to explore and develop the block D230, the statement says.
The MOU was signed in Baku on May 24, on behalf of the government of Azerbaijan by Rovnag Abdullayev, president of SOCAR, and Gordon Birrell, BP's regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.
BP and SOCAR are linked with a long history of an effective partnership, Abdullayev said, reminding that BP has been the main investor and operator of great projects of regional and global significance in Azerbaijan. The relationships between the two companies continue growing.
The two companies have achieved successful results in all projects they have cooperated in, noted the president of SOCAR.
"Today we are signing a new Memorandum of Understanding which will lay the foundation of a new offshore project. This will become another opportunity underpinning our long-term relationship with BP", Abdullayev stated.
"This is an important day for both Azerbaijan and BP," Birrell said in his turn. "It continues the cooperation that will enable us to work together to ensure the long term future for Azerbaijan's oil and gas production through exploring new opportunities."
"Based on our extensive experience in exploration around the world and our expertise based on the best technology available in the industry, we look forward to this new opportunity and are committed to contribute to maintaining oil production in Azerbaijan for many decades," he said.
Block 230 covers areas in a water depth of up to 300 meters with the reservoir depth of 3,000-5,000 meters.
BP’s office was opened in Baku in 1992. Since then, the company participated in a series of the upstream project in Azerbaijan together with SOCAR.
BP Azerbaijan is an operator of Azerbaijan's Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields, where the Azeri Light oil is being produced.
With a 25.5% share, BP is also the operator of the Shah Deniz gas field, which production was commissioned in 2006. Stage 2 development of this gas condensate field is a giant project expected to open up Azerbaijan as a major gas supplier to the European market through a Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network.
BP operates also the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline which passes through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to transport Caspian oil to the Mediterranean coast.
The company signed a PSA agreement with SOCAR to explore and develop Shafag-Asiman structure in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea as well.
SOCAR is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in domestic and international markets, as well as, supplying natural gas to industry and the public in Azerbaijan.
Three production divisions, one oil refinery and one gas processing plant, a deep water platform fabrication yard, two trusts, one institution, and 23 subdivisions are operating as corporate entities under SOCAR.
The company has representative offices in Georgia, Turkey, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Great Britain, Iran, Germany and Ukraine, as well as, trading companies in Switzerland, Singapore, Vietnam, Nigeria, and other countries.
SOCAR owns petrol stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.
Fatma Babayeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Fatma_Babayeva
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