Itochu denies buying LUKoil share in Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli project

The Japanese company Itochu is not involved in the purchasing of LUKoil's share in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) project in Azerbaijan. According to a bulletin published by the PROLOG Investment Group, a representative of Itochu in Azerbaijan made a respective statement. According to the representative, Itochu had not signed any documents on a deal with the Russian company. "We cannot understand where this information has come from," the Itochu official pointed out.

On November 15, 2002 LUKoil announced that it would sell its share in ACG to a large Japanese oil company for over $1.25bn. LUKoil's present share in the ACG project, which is being implemented on the basis of a product sharing agreement, is 10%. It has 11.11% in accordance with a respective agreement on mutual operations as well as stakes in other assets related to the project. The deal has to be finally approved by the State Oil Company of Azerbajan and all other participants of the ACG consortium. The operator of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli project is BP, which has a 34.13% share in the consortium. The other participants of the project are as follows: The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (10%), Statoil (8.56%), Unocal (10.28%), ExxonMobil (8%), The National Oil and Natural Gas Company of Turkey (6.75%), Devon (5.62%), Itochu (3.92%), and Delta Hess (2.72%). The amount of confirmed reserves of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli is about 700m tons of oil. 137,000 barrels of oil and over 2.5m cubic m of associated gas a day are produced in the oil fields of the project now.

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