Reserves of several perspective fields in Azerbaijan exceed 2.5tln cu.m gas

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 4 / Trend E.Ismayilov /

According to forecasts of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan), gas reserves in seven prospective structures in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea are estimated at 2.6 trillion cubic meters and condensate at 350 million tons, SOCAR said at the Caspian Oil and Gas, Refining and Petrochemicals Exhibition.

The largest volume of reserves is projected on the structure of "Araz-Alov-Sharg", according to the data. According to forecast data, the reserves of this structure are estimated at 700 billion cubic meters of gas and 90 million tons of gas condensate.

PSA has already been signed on the exploration and development of this structure.

Araz-Alov-Sharg participating interests are: BP (operator) - 15%, Norwegian Statoil - 15%, U.S. ExxonMobil - 15%, Turkish TPAO - 10%, Canadian Alberta Energy - 5% and SOCAR - 40%. Required investments make up about $4bln. The project will remain frozen until the Caspian Sea status has been agreed upon between Azerbaijan and Iran.

Reserves of Asiman-Shafag structure are projected at 500 billion cubic meters of gas and 65 million tons of condensate.

The block located in 125 kilometers south-east of Baku. In July 2009 in London, SOCAR and BP signed a memorandum on mutual understanding on the joint exploration and development of the Shafag and Asiman fields in the Azerbaijani section of the Caspian Sea. The block has not been explored yet. The block is located at the depth of 650-800 meters with a depth of the reservoir at 7,000 meters.

Other potential structures, a contract for exploration and development of which has already been signed, is the perspective offshore structure "Absheron". According to forecasts, the reserves of this structure are estimated at 300 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million tons of condensate.

Absheron project Participants includes SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) - 40 percent, the French company Total - 40 percent and Gaz De France Suez - 20 percent. The contract on the Absheron field signed Feb. 27, 2009 between SOCAR and Total. Later Total sold 20 percent of its equity participation in the contract to the company Gaz De France Suez.

This is the second attempt of foreign companies to start production of commercially attractive hydrocarbon prospective structure "Absheron". In 1997, the first PSA contract was signed for exploration and development of this area. The contract was signed between SOCAR and U.S. ChevronTexaco. SOCAR has received 50 percent of equity participation, U.S. ChevronTexaco (30 percent - the company was the operator of the project) and TOTAL - 20 percent. But after drilling, reserves were considered commercially unattractive, after which the contract was closed.

SOCAR and German RWE signed a memorandum of understanding for perspective offshore structure Nakhchivan in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea in March 2010. The reserves on the structure are projected at 300 billion cubic meters of gas and 40 million tons of gas condensate.

The contract for work on "Nakhchivan" is signed for the second time.

The first contract on the development of the perspective offshore structure of Nakhchivan was signed on 1 Aug. 1997. The parties to the contract were ExxonMobil - 50%, SOCAR - 50%. The project was closed due to failure to discover commercially attractive volumes of hydrocarbons.

SOCAR geologists have also assign structure "Zafar-Mashal". Forecasted reserves of the structure is estimated at 300 billion cubic meters of gas and 37 million tons of gas condensate. American ConocoPhillips Company displays an interest to work on this structure.

SOCAR intends to develop independently two structures - Umid and Babak, without involving foreign companies. The main goal is to increase the reserves of SOCAR. Currently, SOCAR is already drilling the first exploration well on the Umid structure. SOCAR geologists estimate the reserves of the structure Umid at 200 billion cubic meters of gas and 30 million tons of condensate and structure Babak at 300 billion cubic meters and 45 million tons, respectively.

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