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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Deal Near, Aliyev Says

ISTANBUL -- Azeri President Geidar Aliyev said Azerbaijan will soon sign an agreement with a consortium of Western oil companies on a multibillion dollar project to develop offshore oilfields.

"We have invited the oil companies for talks, and the accord will soon be signed," Aliyev told a news conference in Istanbul on Friday, but gave no date for the signing.

The deal to develop three Caspian Sea fields was shelved last June after the fall of his predecessor, Abulfaz Elchibey.

The terms of the original deal, estimated at $9 billion, allows for nine platforms and 900 wells, with Azerbaijan responsible for 30 percent of the financing.

The remaining 70 percent was shared by BP/Statoil with 36.7 percent, Amoco 24.3 percent, Pennzoil 17 percent, Unocal 16 percent, McDermott 3.5 percent and Turkish Petroleum 2.5.