Total makes $1.5bn Shah Deniz sale

Stake sale: Total exits Azeri giant project in $1.5 bn deal

France's Total has sold its 10% share of the BP-led Shah Deniz project to Istanbul-based state player Turkish Petroleum (TPAO).

The Paris-headquartered oil major will receive $1.5 billion for the stake, up slightly on the $1.45 billion Statoil recouped when it sold 10% of its share to Azerbaijan's Socar and BP last December for $1.45 billion.

Total exploration & production’s senior vice president for continental Europe and central Asia Michael Borrell said the divestment was “in line with Total’s active portfolio management and the focus of its investment capability on more strategic assets”.

Borrell said that including Friday’s deal the Paris-headquartered explorer will have sold nearly $16 billion worth of assets since 2012, when the company vowed to make asset sales of between $15 billion and $20 billion by the end of 2014.

The deal raises TPAO's share of the project to 19%. The Turkish company also gets Total's share of the South Caucus pipeline that takes first-phase gas volumes from Azerbaijan to the Turkish border.

BP operates the Caspian giant field on a 28.83% share, with Socar on 16.67%, Norway's Statoil on 15.5% and Russia's Lukoil and Tehran's National Iranian Oil Corporation on 10% each.

Azerbaijan's biggest gas deposit, Shah Deniz has been in production since 2006 with first-phase capacity of 8 billion cubic metres.

The Shah Deniz 2 project to take the field to full development, which was approved last December and has seen numerous contracts awarded in recent months, will see a further 16 bcm added to production beginning in late 2018.

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