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Equinor (EQNR) Inks RSA, Fortifies Foothold in Azerbaijan

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Equinor ASA’s (EQNR - Free Report) associate company — Statoil Azerbaijan — has inked a Risk Service Agreement (RSA) with Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR. The agreement includes the appraisal and development of the Karabagh oilfield.

The parties have also signed a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the Ashrafi, Dan Ulduzu, Aypara area. The exploration area is situated about 100-110 kilometers north-east of Baku.

The Karabagh oilfield, located 120 kilometers east of Baku, is in close proximity to the SOCAR operated Shallow Water Gunashli (SWG) field and the BP plc (BP - Free Report) operated Azeri Chirag Gunashli (“ACG”) field. Statoil Azerbaijan holds an interest of 7.27% in ACG field.

Statoil Azerbaijan and SOCAR will form a 50-50 joint venture to operate the licenses. Subsequent to appraisal and engineering work, a final investment decision on field development will be taken.

These deals strengthen Equinor’s position in the region and augment its prospects. The company has been present in Baku since 1992 and is one of the largest foreign investors in the country. In 2017, Equinor’s average equity production was 50,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

The company changed its name to Equinor from Statoil as they wanted to remove oil from the name. This is a recent trend followed by many energy players, which is in sync with the global move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Price Performance

In the past three months, Equinor’s shares have gained 15.2% compared with the industry’s 7.7% rise.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Equinor currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

A few other top-ranked players in the same sector are Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC - Free Report) and CVR Refining, LP . These stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Anadarko Petroleum is one of the world's largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies. It witnessed an average positive earnings surprise of 89.24% in the last four quarters.

Sugar Land, TX-based CVR Refining is an independent downstream energy partnership with refining and associated logistics properties in the Midcontinent United States. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 7.05% in the last four quarters.

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