The Azerbaijan government and the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), together with BP, Chevron, INPEX, Statoil, ExxonMobil, TP, ITOCHU and ONGC Videsh today signed the amended and restated agreement on the joint development and production sharing (PSA) for the Azeri, Chirag fields and the Deep Water Portion of the Gunashli Field (ACG) in the Azerbaijan Sector of the Caspian Sea. The contract is now subject to ratification by the Parliament (Milli Majlis) of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The contract was signed in Baku today in the presence of H.E. President Ilham Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan and a group of visiting senior government and state officials, by Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR, on behalf of the Azerbaijan government, and by the representatives of the co-venturer companies.
BP will remain the operator in accordance with the amended and restated ACG PSA.
As part of the contract, the international co-venturers will pay a bonus of $3.6bn to the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and SOCAR will increase its equity share in the ACG PSA from 11.65% to 25%. During the next 32 years, there is the potential for more than $40bn capital to be invested in the ACG oil field.
Following completion of the contract, the new ACG participating interests will be as follows: BP, 30.37%; AzACG (SOCAR), 25.00%; Chevron, 9.57%; INPEX, 9.31%; Statoil, 7.27%; ExxonMobil, 6.79%; TP, 5.73%; ITOCHU, 3.65%; and ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), 2.31%.
Subsequent to this contract, SOCAR and its co-venturers have also agreed to progress engineering development work to evaluate an additional production platform in the ACG contract area.
Rovnag Abdullayev, SOCAR President, said: “Today is a significant day for Azerbaijan. It brings back the days, when we signed the ‘Contract of the Century’. Despite the challenging political and economic conditions of that time, thanks to the intense effort by our national leader Heydar Aliyev the first ACG contract was signed, laying the foundation of the future economic development of Azerbaijan. Since the signing of the first PSA in 1994, ACG has benefited from $33bn of investment, producing around 440 million tonnes of oil, and delivering directly more than $125bn of net profit to our country.
“Finalizing the negotiation process between SOCAR and the partner companies today, we have signed the new contract on the ACG project on agreed terms. The new contract is effective until the end of 2049. The terms of the new contract will take effect following their ratification by the Parliament (Milli Majlis) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which will enable us to maximize the economic benefits for our country from ACG over the next 32 years. The terms of the new contract reflect the growing financial and technological potential of Azerbaijan and SOCAR. They also demonstrate the confidence of our foreign partners in the Azerbaijani economy, taking our effective partnership to a new level.”
Bob Dudley, group chief executive of BP, said: “Over the past 23 years the Contract of the Century has truly transformed Azerbaijan, energy supplies to Europe and all of us who have worked so hard to make it a success. Today’s contract is perhaps an even more important milestone in the history of Azerbaijan as it ensures that over the next 32 years we will continue to work together to unlock the long-term development potential of ACG through new investments, new technologies and new joint efforts to maximise recovery. In light of that, I think it is fair to call this the Contract of the New Century.”
In order to utilize the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the ‘PSLRA’), BP is providing the following cautionary statement. This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning BP’s plans and expectations regarding the amended and restated agreement with the Azerbaijan government and state oil company, including performance under the agreement in accordance with its terms and the ratification of the agreement by the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and expectations regarding potential capital investment in the AGC oil field. Actual results may differ from those expressed in such statements, depending on a variety of factors including changes in public expectations and other changes to business conditions; the timing, quantum and nature of divestments; the receipt of relevant third-party and/or regulatory approvals; future levels of industry product supply; demand and pricing; OPEC quota restrictions; PSA effects; operational problems; regulatory or legal actions; economic and financial conditions generally or in various countries and regions; political stability and economic growth in relevant areas of the world; changes in laws and governmental regulations; exchange rate fluctuations; development and use of new technology; the success or otherwise of partnering; the actions of competitors, trading partners and others; natural disasters and adverse weather conditions; wars and acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks or sabotage; and other factors discussed under “Principal risks and uncertainties” in the results announcement for the period ended 30 June 2017 and “Risk factors” in our Annual Report and Form 20-F 2016.