headline changed, details added (first version posted at 13:30)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4
In case if positive results are obtained from 3D seismological survey of the shallow waters around the Absheron Peninsula in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, BP will be able to choose up to four sites for drilling operations, Greg Riley, BP Azerbaijan vice-president for exploration and development, told reporters Feb. 4.
Riley said that the contract area has been divided into several zones, in which seismic surveys will be held.
Riley explained that if there are more promising areas, those which will not be chosen for drilling, will be transferred to SOCAR, as this is the usual international practice for large areas.
He went on to say that according to the contract, the seismic survey phase takes 30 months from the date of the treaty ratification.
At the same time Riley expressed hope that new technologies will allow to speed up the work.
The contract for the geological exploration and development of promising structures in the shallow waters of the Absheron peninsula was signed in December 2014 between the Azerbaijani State Oil Company (SOCAR) and BP and ratified in April 2015.
The territory covered by the agreement, extends along the Absheron Peninsula's southern part and covers an area of about 1900 square kilometers. In this area the sea depth is about 25 meters, and the depth of the bedding of the potentially productive strata - 3000-5000 meters.
Some 50 percent of the share by the agreement belongs to BP, 50 percent to State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). BP is the project's technical operator.