International groups have found a way to avoid the scope of Russian power. According to a report by Bloomberg, energy giant BP (NYSE:BP) has negotiated a deal to bring natural gas directly to European Union countries from the Shah Deniz gas fields of Azerbaijan with a group of buyers, including Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA) spending hundreds of billions dollars on the contract. The deal represents a blow to Russian energy providers.
The Shah Deniz group includes BP, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), and other energy players with control to plentiful natural gas resources in the country located to the north of Iraq. Statements from SOCAR said the deal could be worth $200 billion to the group as a whole, a figure that has yet to be confirmed by BP representatives. According to multiple sources, the deal spans a 25-year period and includes 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The European unit of Royal Dutch Shell joined Enel SpA of Italy and Suez SA of France in the nine-member purchasing group, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The news agency reports the first of the natural gas reserves will head from Azerbaijan to Greece and Bulgaria in coming years as well as Italy and other EU markets. The deal was both a sign of the huge resources to be found in Azerbaijan and the diminished need for reliance on Russian supplies.