A top manager at SOCAR said the talks for another Caspian project, Zafar-Mashal, have started. Exxon Azerbaijan Operating Company (EAOC) lost $150 million in Zafar-Mashal last year.
In February of 2002, EAOC announced it found no substantial hydrocarbon reserves when it drilled the first exploration well up to the depth of over 6 km.
ExxonMobil is the operator under Nakhichevan project. SOCAR is its parity partner under Nakhichevan and, along with ConocoPhillips, has interest in Zafar-Mashal project. According to the sources with the oil community, ExxonMobile will also withdraw from Zafar-Mashal, discouraged by the drilling results of the well, which turned out most expensive in the Caspian. Should it happen, Exxon will have to indemnify SOCAR for Zafar-Mashal to add to Nakhichevan project.
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