Azerbaijan, Baku, July 1 / Trend E.Ismayilov /
Following completion of exploratory well drilling on the Absheron field, in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, the Heydar Aliyev semi-submersible drilling rig will begin drilling projects operated by British BP in Azerbaijan, a source at the oil and gas market said.
He said rig preparation for BP drilling will begin later this year. "Direct drilling operations will commence in early 2012," the source said.
Earlier, Danish Maersk Drilling, which acts as an installation operator, and BP signed a contract to provide medium-term drilling services, providing for drilling under contracts realized by BP in Azerbaijan.
BP is a participant to the Shah Deniz project and the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli project. Recently, Azerbaijani parliament ratified a contract signed by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) and BP Exploration on development and production sharing of the perspective field "Shafag-Asiman."
BP would attract a drilling rig named after Heydar Aliyev to work on large-scale development of this field. The "Istiglal" rig lacks the capacity to drill a large number of wells. Within the full-scale development of the Shah Deniz field, two offshore platforms will be installed and 30 underwater wells are to be drilled.
Peak production is forecast at over 9 billion cubic meters of gas and 50,000 barrels of condensate per day. According to forecasts, the second phase of the field development is to increase gas production to 25 billion cubic meters per year.
Shah Deniz reserves are estimated to be 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.
The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed on June 4, 1996.
Agreement participants are BP (operator) - 25.5 percent, Statoil - 25.5 percent, NICO - 10 percent, Total - 10 percent, LukAgip - 10 percent, TPAO - 9 percent, and SOCAR - 10 percent.