SOCAR explores possibilities of second new generation floating drilling rig construction

Business Materials 16 September 2014 15:28 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.16

By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

Work on the construction of a new modern Azerbaijan rig is carried out in accordance with the scheduled program, the head of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) Rovnag Abdullayev said Sept.15.

He added that all the necessary construction work is currently underway on the Baku shipyard.
The possibilities of construction of a second modern rig are also being investigated.

"Certain results will be available shortly after the conclusion of the negotiations, analysis of the reports and work of experts," Abdullayev said.

The cost of a new generation rig construction project in Azerbaijan is $1.116.7 million.

State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan is the owner of 90 percent stake in Azerbaijan Rigs Ltd., created for the construction of a new platform. The remaining 10 percent of shares in the company are owned by SOCAR.

In 2013, SOFAR allocated some 169.14 million AZN on the implementation of this project, and in the first half of 2014 - 67.3 million AZN.

The first drilling rig of the new generation will be built for SOCAR's needs.

The operator of the drilling rig will be the Caspian Drilling Company (CDC) where a 92.44 per cent share is owned by SOCAR. Singapore firm Keppel FELS Limited is chosen as the plant construction contractor. In June 2013, CDC signed an agreement with this company for the construction work.

The new rig will be designed for drilling wells at depths up to 8,000 metres and at a water depth of 1,000 metres. The rig is planned to be constructed in 2016.

In particular, the rig will be used for drilling on prospective structures and fields in Azerbaijan, such as the Umid field and the promising structures Babek, Karabakh, Ashrafi and others.

Azerbaijan must build four new floating drilling rigs taking into account the implementation of big projects in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, in particular drilling on the prospective Babek structure, the Absheron gas condensate field development, implementation of the second stage of developing Shah Deniz gas condensate field and other projects.

The State Oil Fund was established in 1999 and its assets at that time amounted to $271 million.

As of July 1, 2014, SOFAZ assets increased by 4.86 percent compared to $35.877.5 billion in early 2014 amounting to $37.622.4 billion.

Based on SOFAZ's regulations, its funds may be used for the construction and reconstruction of strategically important infrastructure facilities, as well as solving important national problems.

The official exchange rate on Sept.16 is 0.7843 AZN/USD.