On 20 September, 1994, Delta Oil and ten other foreign oil companies signed what became known as the “Contract of the Century”. The founding consortium of foreign oil companies, as members of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (“AIOC”),and the national oil company of Azerbaijan, SOCAR, signed the Production Sharing Contract for the development of three major oil fields in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea (the Azeri, Guneshli and Chirag fields). The estimated combined recoverable reserves of these fields at the time was 4.6 billion barrels of oil. Delta’s interest in AIOC was sold in 1998 to Hess Corporation.
In 1995 Delta entered into an alliance agreement with US company, Unocal Corporation, which led to the formation of the Centgas consortium. Ultimately, Centgas involved several international oil and gas companies, including oil companies in Turkmenistan and Russia.
The purpose of the consortium was to build a 1,500 kilometre long natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan. The project was later abandoned as a result of Afghanistan’s unstable political situation.
Fast Tracking Egyptian Development
In 1999, Delta Oil acquired a 26% shareholding in Centurion Energy International Inc., a dual-listed company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the London AIM market (2003). Centurion was a Canadian exploration and production company with interests in Egypt, Tunisia and offshore West Africa.
At the time of Delta Oil’s acquisition of its shareholding in Centurion, the company’s shares traded at approximately Can$0.50 to $0.60 per share.
In 2007, Dana Gas JJSC from the United Arab Emirates bid Can$12.00 per share in an all cash transaction valuing the company’s equity in excess of Can$1.1 billion.
Delta’s interest in Centurion was sold to Dana Gas as part of the offer.