LUKOIL Concludes Environmental Impact Estimation during Drilling Work in Azerbaijani Offshore Field

Oil&Gas Materials 10 April 2008 10:52 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 9 April /corr. Trend S.Aliyev / LUKoil Overseas concluded appraisal of the environmental impact of the second exploration well building in D-222 (Yalama) prospective block located in the Azerbaijani section of the Caspian Sea, according to the company.

In January the sea expedition by Ali Hajiyev scientific-research vessel studied the final state of environment in the contract area, then modeling of environmental impact was done both in scheduled drilling regime (the advanced drilling rig Heydar Aliyev will be used)and possible incident situations, decoding of infrared cosmic shootings, calculations were made on estimation of risks and damage to the nature.

The key task to define size of damage caused to fish reserves. Taking into consideration the specifics of offshore drilling technology and the water depth in the point of deposit in the well (approximately 700m), the damage will be minimal and get restricted with withdrawal of forage organisms - planktons and benthos, from the fishing Industry.

With respect to soften the negative environmental impact a rescue ship will permanently stand on duty in the drilling area. Moreover, it is planned to carry out ecological monitoring system, develop plans to liquidate oil spills as a result of incidents and remove the incidents, conduct periodical diving review and technical check-up into the state of casing, put limitations on technological operations in unfavorable weather conditions. All work will be carried out through tough observation of the Law on Environmental Protection of Azerbaijan.

Drilling which will be carried out by the Overseas Operating Company Ltd. - the operator of the project on exploration and development of D-222 is planned to commence in November with the rig named after Heydar Aliyev, which belongs to the Danish company Maersk.

The second exploration well is 2650 meters in depth. It will be drilled at a distance of 22 km from the first exploration well. In November 2007 a geological engineering survey at a depth of 656- 720 meters was held in the envisaged area of drilling.

In 2005 LUKOIL drilled the first well in Yalama at a depth of 4400 meters amid its project depth of 4,500m. During the drilling, small volumes of hydrocarbons was discovered which did not have any commercial interests for the company.

Heydar Aliyev SDR is allocated for well drilling in the depth of up to 9,000m in the water width of up to 1,000m. The limited depth of the Caspian comprises 1,025m, which means that the rig can operate almost in all of the water's area.

The contract on development of Yalama (block D-222) was signed on 3 July 1997. D-222 block is part of Yalama structure which is located in equal parts of the Azerbaijani and Russian sectors of the Caspian Sea 30km offshore at a depth of from 80 to 700m.

In 2003, a set of agreements on the development of D-222, envisaging an increase of LUKOIL's share in the project to 80% and expansion of the contracted area to 3,000sq km, was signed. In 2006, the contracted area was reduced to 1,300sq km and the exploration period was extended to 1 November 2009.

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