Azerbaijan, Baku, May 26 / Trend E. Ismayilov /
The three-dimensional geophysical research on the Shafag-Asiman prospective block will be launched from Gilavar geophysical vessel in August within the contract for exploration, development and production sharing between SOCAR and British BP, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said.
"At present, the geophysical vessel returns to Azerbaijan," he said. "It has been used in the operations within the large overseas contracts for several years. The ship is likely to begin geophysical work on the block in August."
By the end of the year, the Caspian Geophysical JV plans to complete three-dimensional seismic studies on the prospective block "Shafag-Asiman", SOCAR said.
In May, BP-Azerebaijan and Caspian Geophysical signed a contract to carry out 3D-seismic.
Since 2005, the Gilavar ship has conducted works outside the Caspian Sea for such major energy companies as BP, Shell, Maersk, Petrobras.
The SOCAR and BP signed the PSA on "Shafag-Asiman" for a period of 30 years. The exploration period is 4 years with possible prolongation for another 3 years. The first stage of exploration works envisions drilling of two wells. The second one assumes drilling of two more wells, if necessary. As the sides go over to the production stage, they will operate the project jointly. The two companies hold equal interests in the project.
The reserves of field Asiman-Shafag are estimated at 300-500 billion cubic meters of gas.
"Shafag" and "Asiman" structures are located 125 kilometers to the south-east of Baku. SOCAR and BP signed a memorandum on "Mutual understanding" on the joint exploration and development of "Shafag" and "Asiman" in London in July 2009.
Exploration work has not been conducted on the block before. It is located in the depth of 650-800 m. with the depth of the reservoir at 7,000 meters.
BP is the main foreign oil investor in Azerbaijan. It heads the projects to develop the block of oil and gas fields "Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli" and gas condensate field Shah Deniz. BP is also an operator of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Supsa pipelines.