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The Absheron Project: BP's Production Sharing Agreement in Azerbaijan
Eades, Kenneth M.; Weitkemper, Sam; Kasradze, Emily Rees Case F-1753 / Published April 12, 2016 / 9 pages.
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Product Overview

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.

Learning Objectives

The primary teaching objective is to use the oil industry to demonstrate the importance of understanding how value is created by cash flows of a large, complex investment. Although the cash flows have been simplified for pedagogical reasons, the major structural aspects of the PSA have been preserved to allow students to experience the richness of a real-world application of creating efficient contracts with the correct risk sharing and incentives for the parties involved.

  • Overview

    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.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    The primary teaching objective is to use the oil industry to demonstrate the importance of understanding how value is created by cash flows of a large, complex investment. Although the cash flows have been simplified for pedagogical reasons, the major structural aspects of the PSA have been preserved to allow students to experience the richness of a real-world application of creating efficient contracts with the correct risk sharing and incentives for the parties involved.