Wednesday, September 10, 2008
LUKoil, Gaz de France sign deal on 15% stake in Caspian project
MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) - LUKoil and Gaz de France have signed a deal on the transfer of a 15% stake in an offshore prospecting project in Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea, the Russian oil company said on Wednesday. The deal, which is still to be approved by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), will see LUKoil hold 65%, SOCAR 20% and Gaz de France 15%. The exploration project on the D-222 block, part of a production sharing agreement, was signed in Moscow, July 1997, when Geidar Aliev, then Azeri President, was on an official visit to Russia. The Milli Majlis, Azerbaijan's parliament, ratified the contract in December the same year. The D-222 is part of the Yalama, the northeast Caspian's largest potential oil and gas field, 30 kilometers offshore. Its Azeri and Russian sectors are approximately the same size. Its petroleum reserves are estimated at 800 million barrels with gas reserves at 50 billion cubic meters.