Petronas and Socar agree to jointly develop oil block in Caspian Sea

By bne IntelliNews September 21, 2016

Azerbaijan's state-owned oil company Socar and Malaysian Petronas have signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint development of the Goshadash oil block in the Caspian Sea, Rigzone reported on September 19.

Petronas has maintained its interests abroad in Africa and Azerbaijan even as it has moved to cut thousands of jobs to cope with low oil prices. In Azerbaijan, the Malaysian oil giant took over Statoil's share in the Shah Deniz II gas project in 2014, paying $2.25bn for a 15.5% share in the project.

Meanwhile, Socar's president Rovnag Abdullayev announced that 80% of the offshore works on Shah Deniz II had been completed, according to an article in Azerbaijan's official state newspaper. 

Shah Deniz II is Azerbaijan's largest investment. The upstream part of the project requires investments worth $25bn, while a network of interrelated pipelines costing over $20bn will connect the offshore gas reserves to Europe. Works on the pipelines are also ongoing; the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) is halfway completed, while the ground-breaking for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline took place in May. In addition, Azerbaijan is expanding a gas pipeline connecting it to Georgia and Turkey's north-eastern border. 

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