Existing and future platforms to have enough drilling work in Caspian Sea

Oil&Gas Materials 2 July 2011 10:27 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 2 / Trend E.Ismayilov /

Although the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) constructs a new drilling rig, all existing drilling rigs will have enough drilling work in the Caspian Sea, a source at the oil and gas market said.

The source said the number of floating and semi-submersible drilling in Azerbaijan is not enough to cover all projects that being implemented and planned.

Along with an increase in the number of such rigs, the new drilling rig has a great importance in terms of renewal of the offshore platforms fleet. Most of the available platforms were built in Soviet times and many of them have become obsolete both technically and morally, despite the reconstruction carried out at different times. The most modern drilling rig in Azerbaijan is the rig named after Heydar Aliyev, and such rigs as "Istiglal", "Dede Gorgud", have been operated for a long time, which requires fleet renewal, respectively.

SOCAR will define by the end of this year with the project of construction of a new drilling rig on the Caspian Sea, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said earlier. Talks on establishment of SOCAR-led Drilling Club with participation of other companies active in Azerbaijan under huge projects are nearing to end.

The Caspian has many prospective fields, which need exploration drilling. It requires drilling rig, which could drill in big depths.

Drilling is planned under a new contract with BP on Shafag-Asiman exploration, development and sharing. Exploration drilling is scheduled on the Babek field and on Nakhchivan field jointly with German RWE.

Caspian Drilling Company (CDC) is engaged in the construction of this huge drilling rig. SOCAR holds a 92.44 stake in CDC.

Construction of a rig, which could drill in the water depth of 1,000 meters and in the depth of 10,000 meters will cost up to $500 million. The cost of the last rig built in the Caspian [Heydar Aliyev rig] was $250 million.