British oil giant BP and Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR have signed a contract that prolongs their 1994 sharing agreement for Azerbaijan's largest oil fields until 2050.
BP leads a nine-country consortium that develops the giant Azeri-Ciraq-Gunesli offshore fields -- the largest in Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian basin.
President Ilham Aliyev said at the signing ceremony in Baku on September 14 that the deal provides terms more favorable for Azerbaijan than the previous existing deal, which was due to expire in 2024.
"Our country will get a bonus of $3.6 billion," Aliyev said, adding that SOCAR's share in the consortium rises from 11.7 percent to 25 percent.
The share held by BP, which continues to lead the consortium and serves as the operator, declined from 35.8 percent to 30.37 percent.
Shares of other companies in the consortium also have been reduced.
U.S.-based Chevron now has 9.56 percent, and ExxonMobil 6.79 percent, Japan's INPEX 9.31 percent and ITOCHU 3.65 percent, Norway's Statoil 7.27 percent, Turkey's TPAO has 5.73 percent, and India's ONGC Videsh holds 2.31 percent.
Most of oil produced in Azerbaijan is transported to Europe through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline that goes through Georgia and Turkey, bypassing Russia.