ExxonMobil Shuts Office In Azerbaijan In Dispute

Published at 09:22AM - 18/02/16

ExxonMobil shuts office in Azerbaijan after offshore oil and gas projects within the area remain on hold due to political wrangling.

ExxonMobil Shuts Office

According to sources ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil and gas company, is closing an office in the country that was setup to run the stalled offshore Araz Alov Sharg project.

The Araz Alov Sharg project is currently on hold due to a dispute between neighbours Azerbaijan and Iran over ownership of the offshore oil filed.

Azerbaijan Iran Oil Dispute

The dispute over ownership of the area is long running and has seen regular escalations between the two nations.

Back in 2001 Iran sent warships and fighter jets to intercept seismic survey vessels working in the area, under Azeri issued exploration licences, and forced the vessels to leave the area.

The move eventually led to one of the development’s then partners BP to call it quits back in 2012, around a decade after Iran initially used military force, handing all ownership stakes over to Turkish Petroleum (TPAO).

The move by ExxonMobil could spell the end of any hopes of developing Araz Alov Sharg in the near future. With Iran now looking to increase its oil production, having had all sanctions lifted, it’s unlikely to step-down from any potential claims to offshore fields.