Azerbaijan International

Autumn 1996 (4.3)
Page 75

Japanese Companies
Following ITOCHU

by Khoshbakht Yusifzade

The increasing interest of the world's largest oil companies in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian is broadening the geography of countries investing in Azerbaijan every day. The latest obvious proof is Itochu Oil Corporation's acquisition of a share in the contract on the development of Azeri, Chirag and Gunashli oil fields (AIOC Consortium). Since then representatives of the Japanese National Oil Corporation (JNOC) have visited SOCAR this past July 2-6, in response to an earlier visit to Japan by SOCAR's President Natig Aliyev and VP Ilham Aliyev.

The Japanese delegation, headed by Satosi Tono, VP of JNOC, included 25 individuals representing eight private Japanese companies: Indonesia Petroleum (Inpex), Itochu Oil Exploration, Energy Development, Japanese Petroleum Exploration (Japex), Marubeni, Mitsubishi Oil, Nippon Oil Exploration and Teykoku Oil.

Their main goal was to become familiar with the oil industry of Azerbaijan and to begin to negotiate future endeavors which would be mutually beneficial to both countries. To that end, we organized three presentations. The first described the current status of the oil fields both offshore and onshore, as well as gave an overview of current negotiations with other foreign oil companies.

The second presentation, given by Adil Hajiyev, head of the Caspian Oil and Gas Geological Search Trust, discussed aspects of the geological construction of the Caspian region as far as modern geological and geophysical data of the oil and gas bearing fields are concerned. The final presentation by Caspian Geophysical, an American-Azerbaijani joint venture established three years ago, described their success in rendering seismic services to foreign oil companies. They held discussions with the leaders of the organizations involved with the offshore and onshore oil and gas extraction.

The Japanese indicated special interest in two prospective regions in the Caspian: a region in the southern part of Baku and a second in the eastern deep water part of the southern Caspian. A protocol of mutual understanding has been signed between SOCAR and JNOC.

Japan has some of the most advanced technologies for developing deep sectors of the Caspian Sea.

Azerbaijan International (4.3) Autumn 1996.
© Azerbaijan International 1996. All rights reserved.

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