ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), the state-owned UAE oil company, has announced the purchase of a 30% equity stake in the Absheron gas and condensate field in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Azerbaijan.

Ownership of the gas field was previously split into two 50% equity stakes owned by TotalEnergies and Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR. ADNOC acquired its 30% via the purchase of 15% of the field from each of the two companies, meaning they are both still equal on 35% ownership. ADNOC did not state the price of the two shares purchased.

Musabbeh Al Kaabi, ADNOC executive director for low carbon solutions and international growth, stated: “With global gas demand expected to steadily increase over the coming decades, ADNOC will continue to responsibly meet the world’s energy needs by developing and producing natural gas from world-class assets such as Absheron.”

The Absheron gas field began production earlier in July, with a capacity for four million cubic metres of gas and 12,000 barrels of condensate per day. It is estimated to hold as much as 350 billion cubic metres of gas and 45 million tonnes of condensate across its 270km² area.

ADNOC is capitalising on the growing importance of Azeri gas in the European energy market. In April, the ministers of four EU countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to boost Azeri gas imports into the EU. The MoU will increase the cooperation between the gas grid operators of Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia with SOCAR.

Aliyev stated at the time that alongside this deal, Azerbaijan had signed strategic partnerships with nine-EU member states, meaning a third of the EU could have easier access to Azeri gas. Given Russia cut its pipeline gas supply to Europe following its invasion of Ukraine, Azerbaijan will only grow in importance as a major source of gas for Europe.