Absheron prospective structure in Caspian Sea to be drilled on time

Oil&Gas Materials 26 November 2010 16:01 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 26 / Trend, E. Ismayilov /

The drilling of an exploration well in the Absheron prospective gas condensate structure in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea will start in late December-early January.

The well will be drilled from the Heydar Aliyev Drilling Installation operated by the Maersk Drilling Company. The installation is now drilling in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea on the Rakushechnoye Sea structure. It will return in late 2010-early 2011.

Previously, it was reported that drilling will start in late December at the earliest and January 2011 at the latest. The operations will launch after the installation returns to Azerbaijan, a source told Trend.

He added that the company has exploration drilling obligations on the prospective structure. Therefore, drilling must launch during the indicated period. However, the installation may be delayed in Kazakhstan in case of such a necessity.

According to the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), the Absheron structure's reserves are estimated at 300 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million tons of condensate.

The Absheron bloc is located about 100 kilometers from Baku at a depth of 500 meters.

Participants in Absheron are SOCAR (40 percent), Total (40 percent) and Gaz De France Suez (20 percent).

The contract on the Absheron Field was signed on Feb. 27, 2009 between SOCAR and Total. Later Total sold 20 percent of its equity participation to Gaz De France Suez.

This is the second attempt by foreign companies to start production of the Absheron. In 1997, the first PSA contract was signed for exploration and development between SOCAR and ChevronTexaco. SOCAR received 50 percent of the equity participation, ChevronTexaco - 30 percent and Total - 20 percent. However, after drilling, the reserves were considered commercially unattractive and the contract was closed.