AAS-EKOL to provide services with Total on Caspian Sea

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.25 / Trend /

The joint venture AAS-EKOL will carry out bioremediation of drill sludge formed as a result of drilling operations, which are carried out by France's Total in the Caspian Sea, CJSC Ekol muhendislik xidmetleri said today. Ekol muhendislik xidmetleri and the Dutch AA Services are the co-founders of AAS-EKOL.

Total is one of the participants of the project to explore and develop the prospective Absheron structure. Participants in the Absheron project are: State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) - 40 percent, the French company Total - 40 percent and Gaz de France Suez - 20 percent. Drilling work on the structure started in January of this year.

AAS-EKOL has won the tender announced by Total for bioremediation of drilling sludge.

Starting the project is scheduled for February 2011. The project envisages bioremediation of about 3,300 tons of drill sludge.

Representatives of AAS-EKOL, as well as the co-founder companies, visited the Gizil Dash site to get familiarized with the preparatory work. Drill sludge will be delivered to the site after Total delivers it to land in special containers on ships. Containers will be become free, after which they will be rented to Total for further deliveries of drill sludge.

AAS-EKOL was registered on Feb. 1 2010.

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

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

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.

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