Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 212

The Milli Majlis yesterday ratified the contract between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Chevron Oil of the U.S., and Total of France to develop the Apsheron oilfield (hitherto known as Zeinalabdin Tagiev) on Azerbaijan’s Caspian shelf. Signed on August 1 in Washington during a visit by President Haidar Aliev, the contract with Chevron — also signed shortly afterward by Total — envisages $4 billion worth of investment and a 25-year period of exploration and exploitation. SOCAR, Chevron, and Total hold 50 percent, 30 percent, and 20 percent shares, respectively. The two Western companies will fully finance SOCAR’s share during the exploration period. Chevron is the project operator.

The Apsheron field is estimated to contain 120 million tons of oil and 400 billion cubic meters of associated gas. Situated some 85 kilometers southeast of the Apsheron peninsula, the field covers an area of approximately 400 square kilometers, at a sea depth of 450 to 500 meters and at drilling depths ranging from 4,800 to 7,100 meters. Chevron and Total are also participants in several other oil extraction and transportation projects in Azerbaijan. (Turan, Western agencies, November 11)

On November 7, the Milli Majlis ratified a $2 billion contract with Mobil Oil (see Monitor, November 10); and is now scheduled to take up a major contract with Exxon. The contracts with these U.S. companies were also signed during Aliev’s Washington visit.

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