September 20 will mark exactly 15 years since the signing of what is known in Azerbaijan as the "Contract of the century," namely the production sharing agreement for the giant ACG oil field, where StatoilHydro is one of the partners.
The Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oil field, the world's largest producing offshore field with a current production rate of almost 900,000 bpd, forms today the backbone of the country's economy.
StatoilHydro executive vice president Helga Nes was in Baku in connection with the aniversary, and opened an exhibition co-sponsored by StatoilHydro and Socar dedicated to 130 years since the founding of the Nobel Brothers Company (BraNobel) in Baku, an event that is seen as pivotal to the development of the Azerbaijani oil industry.
"Today, we celebrate two great Azerbaijani oil success stories -- 130 years since the Nobel Brothers started their historic oil company in Azerbaijan, and 15 years since the signing of the 'Contract of the century'," she stated. "Both successes are based on strong leadership, innovation and technological advances -- while overcoming geopolitical challenges."
A consortium of 11 foreign oil companies, including Statoil, concluded a 30-year agreement with the Azerbaijani government on the exploration, development and production of three offshore fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
The resources and the endeavour were enormous in size and significance. Azerbaijan exports its ACG Light crude blend primarily to Turkish ports on the Mediterranean Sea through the 1700 km long Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, the second longest in the world.
"ACG is a world scale project, 2.5 times bigger than the Statfjord field, and we in StatoilHydro are proud to be part of its success. Azerbaijan is one of the core areas in StatoilHydro's international portfolio. We have been present in the country since 1992 and are the second largest investor in the country. So far in ACG and BTC we've invested more than US $3 billion; our average equity production year to date is approximately 70.000 bbld," said Kristian Hausken, country manager for StatoilHydro in Azerbaijan.
ACG's shareholders are BP (34.1%), Chevron (10.2%), Socar (10%), Inpex (10%), StatoilHydro (8.56%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5.6%), Itochu (3.9%), Hess (2.7%).
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