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Socar Talking W/ Total, Lukoil on New Natgas Blocks in Caspian

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Talks with France’s Total on exploration and development of Umid and Babak natgas blocks in Azerbaijan’s section of Caspian Sea

resumed after being interrupted over “differences in positions,” Elshad Nassirov, Socar VP for marketing and investment, says in interview Monday in Baku.

Socar is also talking with Russia’s Lukoil and other companies over the blocks.

“We’re already producing natural gas from Umid. We’re talking with foreign partners to share the risks and financial burden”

* Total holds 50% of Absheron, another Azeri natgas project in Caspian Sea; its partner in Absheron is Socar, which holds remaining 50%.

Socar discovered Umid, meaning “Hope” in Azeri, in 2010; deposit may hold 200bcm of natgas, according to Socar estimates; Babak is thought to contain 400bcm of natgas.

Bloomberg

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