The Absheron Project: BP's Production Sharing Agreement in Azerbaijan
This case is used in a Darden second-year elective in corporate finance, "Corporate Financial Policies." It asks students to analyze the cash flows estimated for a production sharing agreement (PSA) between BP and the Azerbaijan government targeted for signing by year-end 2014. The primary relationship is a joint venture (JV) between BP and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). The JV is entitled to recover operating costs and capital costs from the proceeds of sales of the early production of the project and share profits earned from production, called the profit petroleum (PP), with Azerbaijan after the cost recoveries. Students are provided a detailed cash flow model for the project and for BP's equity investment and are asked to explain how the value estimates correlate with the risks assumed by the respective parties. This case is appropriate for students who have studied the principles of discounted cash flow and cost of capital. It is best positioned as part of a first-year MBA finance course as the last case in a module related to cash flow analysis. The case can also be taught in an MBA elective containing advanced corporate finance topics. It would be of special interest to students planning for a career related to energy, banking, or consulting, and also relevant for students interested in international business.