One of largest floating rigs being prepared for maintenance in Azerbaijan

Business Materials 21 January 2015 09:51 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.21

By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

Istiglal floating drilling rig, which is currently used for the work within the second phase of development of Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, will be sent for planned maintenance in the near future, a source on oil and gas market told Trend Jan.19.

The rig had to go for scheduled maintenance in 2014, but it was decided that the repair work will be carried out after completion of drilling of the well SDC-04, according to the source.

"Work on the well will be completely finished after a few weeks and the rig will go to scheduled maintenance, which will be completed by fall of 2015," said the source.

Currently, a floating drilling rig named after Heydar Aliyev also operates at the Shah Deniz field.

Caspian Drilling Company (CDC, 92, 44 percent of the equity is owned by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) is the operator of the Istiglal rig.

The annual gas production volume will increase from 9 billion cubic meters (within the first phase) by an additional 16 billion cubic meters in the second phase within the framework of the Shah Deniz project. Two offshore platforms will be installed and more than 20 subsea wells will be drilled for the extraction of additional volumes of gas within the framework of Shah Deniz-2 project.

The gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of the field's development will be exported to Turkey and to the European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

Shah Deniz reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas. The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed on June 4, 1996.

Participants at the development of the Shah Deniz field are SOCAR (the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) with a share of 16.7 percent, BP (28.8 percent), Norway's Statoil (15.5 percent), Iran's NICO (10 percent), French Total (10 percent), Russia's Lukoil (10 percent) and Turkish TPAO (9 percent). Earlier, Total sold its share to Turkish TPAO and after completion of the transaction, the share of the latter will be 19 percent in the project.

Moreover, Norway's Statoil has sold its 15.5-percent share in the Shah Deniz project to the Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas. The transactions on the sale and purchase of the shares haven't been completed yet.


Follow the author on Twitter: @Emilsmail