Drilling within major gas contract in Azerbaijan may be delayed

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 19

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

Planning of drilling work and direct drilling of the first exploration well on the Shafag-Asiman block of condensate fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea may take longer than it was expected, a source on the oil and gas market of Azerbaijan told Trend Oct.19.

The source said that BP has successfully completed the interpretation of seismic data and began exploration work that can be delayed.

"Planning of exploration well is only the first step," the source said. "It is possible to design a well for a month, to know how, where and how deep it's necessary to drill. However, planning of the well in such a very complex place, where the Shafag-Asiman block is situated, can take up to two years."

The source went on to add that its drilling can also be delayed. "The reason for this is the complexity of the structure," the source said. "It is quite deep and located at a great depth of the sea. It will be necessary to resolve the issue with the rig that could drill on this area."

A 30-year contract on Shafag-Asiman was signed in October 2010. The exploration period will be four years, with possibility of extension for three more years. Two wells are to be drilled within the first phase. Two more wells will be drilled if necessary within the second one.
In the operational period the sides will implement joint operatorship within the project. Shared participation in the contract is expected on the scheme 50 to 50 percent.

The forecasted reserves of the Shafag-Asiman block have hit 500 billion cubic meters of gas and 65 million tons of condensate.

The block is located 125 kilometers to the southeast of Baku. Exploration work has not been conducted on the block yet. It is located at a depth of 650-800 meters with the depth of the reservoir at 7,000 meters.

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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