Norway's Statoil ASA and Azerbaijan's state energy firm SOCAR signed a deal Monday on exploring and developing a new offshore area in the Caspian Sea.
The memorandum of understanding, signed in Baku by the companies' chief executives, sets the framework for exploring opportunities, conducting negotiations and agreeing key commercial terms in the next 12 months, the two companies said in a joint statement.
The two blocks in the agreement--Zafar and Mashal--are estimated to hold around 140 million metric tons of oil.
Statoil is already a partner in Azerbaijan's giant Shah Deniz field and the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field in the Caspian.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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