Exxon Azerbaijan Limited and the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) are jointly undertaking a major study of the gas resources in Azerbaijan. The study, slated to begin in the first quarter of 1998, is expected to take about a year to complete. It will assess Azerbaijans domestic market and the potential for exports. The study team consists of personnel from SOCAR and Exxon. Valekh Aleskerov, manager of the Foreign Investments Dept. of SOCAR, said the study "will be of great benefit to both companies, as well as the United States and Azerbaijan. SOCAR has signed nine agreements with international oil companies to help develop the potentially vast oil and gas resources in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea."