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BP Gets Approval to Explore New Azerbaijani Block

Oil major BP said a contract with Azerbaijan's state oil firm to develop a deepwater gas field in the Caspian Sea had been approved by the Azerbaijani Parliament, enabling it to begin exploration.

BP said on Tuesday the production sharing agreement (PSA) with the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) for the unexplored Shafag-Asiman structure was ratified by a unanimous vote in parliament.

"This is a good demonstration of the country's acknowledgement of BP's track record here and trust in our long-term commitment to Azerbaijan," BP's regional president Rashid Javanshir said in a statement.

BP is planning to start seismic exploration on the block in September, a spokesman told Reuters.

The deal covers an area of around 1,100 square kilometers and is in sea which is between 650-800 metres deep, about half the depth BP was drilling when its Macondo well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

BP and SOCAR signed the PSA deal, which is for 30 years, in October 2010.

Source: Reuters

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