Under the 30-year PSA, BP will be the operator with 50% interest in the development of the Shafag-Asiman block, while Socar will hold the remaining equity.

The unexplored block lies some 125km to the southeast of Baku and covers an area of some 1,100sq km.

It is located in a deepwater section of about 650m-800m with reservoir depth of about 7,000m.

BP CEO Robert Dudley said that this agreement marks the beginning of the companies’ bilateral cooperation in exploration and development of a new offshore block.

The signing of the PSA follows the earlier concluded Heads of Agreement, which defined the basic commercial principles of the contract.