Chronology: Petroleum Affairs

The Middle East Journal, Autumn 2005 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Petroleum Affairs


Apr. 20: Two US companies - Direct Petroleum Morocco Inc. and Anschutz Morocco Corporation - were granted exclusive drilling rights in the Asilah-Tissa region by the Moroccan government. [AN, 4/20]

Apr. 29: The Parliament of Azerbaijan ratified three oil contracts valued at $1 billion to build three on-shore oil fields. Azerbaijan's state oil company Socar has a stake in all three contracts. [RFE, 5/3]

May 3: The Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell agreed to a major gas exploration and development deal in partnership with Libya's state oil company, National oil Corp. Shell estimated it would spend between $105 million and $450 million to upgrade Libyan gas plants, and $187 million to export Libya's vast supply of oil. [BBC, 5/3]

May 11: The government of Qatar said it would begin supplying neighboring Bahrain with natural gas. The agreement marks closer ties between the two countries, whose relations were strained due to territorial disputes. [GN, 5/7]

May 25: A new oil pipeline linking oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea with western markets opened. Starting in Azerbaijan, the 1,000-mile long pipeline passes through Georgia to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, and cost $3.6 billion to complete. Considered strategically important to the West as a nonRussian and non-Middle Eastern source of oil, the pipeline took more than ten years to build and was constructed by a consortium led by UK oil giant BP, which had a 30% stake. Other consortium members included Azerbaijan's state oil company Socar, Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillips, Eni, Inpex, Itochu, Statoil, Total, TPAO and Unocal. [BBC, 5/25]

June 8: oil giant BP announced plans to invest up to $2 billion in Saudi Arabia's petrochemicals industry. The UK company said its subsidiary Innovene signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi development firm Delta International. [BBC, 6/8]

June 13: The National Iranian Gas Export Company and three Indian oil companies (Indian Oil Company, Gail and Baharat India) signed a $22 billion deal for Tehran to supply five million tons of gas a year to India. Liquefied natural gas would be supplied over a 25-year period beginning in 2009. …

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