Shah Deniz gas field is the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan. It is situated in the South Caspian Sea, off the coast of Azerbaijan, approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) southeast of Baku, at a depth of 600 metres (2,000 ft). The field covers approximately 860 square kilometres (330 sq mi). The Shah Deniz gas and condensate field was discovered in 1999. It is to bring gas into Europe without having to traverse countries like Russia or Iran, deemed to be politically unreliable by some in order to promote their projected Nabucco pipeline.
The Shah Deniz field is operated by BP which has a share of 25.5%. Other partners include Statoil (25.5%), SOCAR (10%), Total S.A. (10%), LukAgip, a joint company of Eni and LUKoil (10%), NIOC (10%), and TPAO (9%).
The Shah Deniz reserves are estimates to be between 1.5 billion barrels (240,000,000 m3) to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of oil equivalent from 50 to 100 billion cubic meters of gas. Gas production to date at the end of 2005 was estimated to be approximately 7 billion cubic meters (600 mmcf/day avg). The Shah Deniz field also contains gas condensate in excess of 400 million cubic meters.