LONDON — December 15, 2004 — The international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke is representing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in a US$170 million loan to affiliates of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), for two Caspian gas projects that will generate significant revenues for the region and help to establish Azerbaijan as a significant natural gas supplier.
EBRD is lending US$110 million to Azerbaijan (Shah Deniz) Ltd. towards the development of the Shah Deniz gas field located in the Azeri sector of the Caspian Sea and US$60 million to Azerbaijan (South Caucasus Pipeline) Ltd. for the 690 km-long South Caucasus gas pipeline. The pipeline will originate at the Sangachal terminal near Baku and cross Azerbaijan and Georgia and end in Turkey. In Turkey the pipeline will connect into the country’s existing gas distribution system. The loans will assist SOCAR in funding its participation in both projects.
The EBRD made its first disbursement of the loan for both projects on December 14, 2004.
Chadbourne lawyers working on the deal included London office partner Nabil L. Khodadad and associate Rubin Weston. “The financing was quite complex because we had to negotiate not only with SOCAR and its affiliates regarding the loan and other financing agreements,” said Khodadad, “but also with other participants in both projects, including BP, Statoil, Total, LukAgip, NICO and the Turkish national energy company TPAO, to ensure that EBRD’s financing and collateral security arrangements did not contravene existing agreements governing such projects.”
BOTAS, the Turkish state energy company, has committed to buying most of the gas but is expected to re-sell a good portion of that in the Caucasus and possibly to Europe over the longer term.
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Chadbourne & Parke LLP, an international law firm headquartered in New York City, provides a full range of legal services, including mergers and acquisitions, securities, project finance, corporate finance, energy, telecommunications, commercial and products liability litigation, securities litigation and regulatory enforcement, white collar defense, intellectual property, antitrust, tax, reinsurance and insurance, environmental, real estate, bankruptcy and financial restructuring, employment law, trusts and estates and government contract matters. The Firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Moscow, Kyiv, Warsaw (through a Polish partnership), Tashkent, Beijing and a multinational partnership, Chadbourne & Parke, in London. For additional information, visit www.chadbourne.com.