International law firm Simmons & Simmons has advised ONGC Videsh Ltd on the acquisition of a 2.72 percent interest in the Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli Fields (ACG) in Azerbaijan, one of the largest oil producing fields in the world, and a 2.36 percent interest in the associated BTC pipeline.
ONGC Videsh signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire interests in the ACG fields and the BTC Pipeline from New York-listed global energy company, Hess Corporation. The fields are located in the Caspian Sea approximately 100 km east of Baku, and the 1,768-km BTC pipeline transports most of the ACG fields production from Azerbaijan through Georgia to the Ceyhan terminal in the Mediterranean Sea in south east Turkey.
The Simmons & Simmons team was led by Hong Kong partners Tom Deegan and Vivien Yang, and assisted by associates from the offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and London, including Liz Hsu, Pamela Leong, Bree Michel, and Raj Bavishi.
Commenting on the transaction, Tom Deegan said: “We are delighted to have assisted ONGC Videsh on its debut investment in Azerbaijan and the acquisition of its first oil producing asset in Central Asia. It represents a significant strategic move for the company, as well as for India.”
Vivien Yang added: “Once this transaction is completed, in addition to its stake in Kazakhstan’s Satpayev Exploration Block, ONGC Videsh will be in close proximity to further investment opportunities in the Caspian region and may be able to ship production from its future investments in the region through the BTC pipeline.”
Simmons & Simmons has advised on some of the world’s largest and most complex oil and gas projects. Comprising both share and asset sales, the transaction was complex because it was subject to an ambitious timeline, and involved legal issues concerning all aspects of transnational oil and gas projects, including regulatory compliance, project finance, international treaties, and private contracts and contracts with governments, which arise from multiple jurisdictions including Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Cayman Islands, Netherlands, India and the United States.
ONGC Videsh currently has a presence in 30 exploration and production projects in 15 countries. The acquisition is subject to relevant government and regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the first quarter of 2013.
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