Geophysical vessel to arrive in Azerbaijan for research under BP's order

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

Caspian Geophysical Company expects the Gilavar geophysical vessel to arrive and to perform the geophysical work on the Shafag-Asiman prospective block in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, a source on the oil and gas market told Trend.

The exploration, development and production sharing agreement was signed by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and BP.

A source said that at present, the vessel is in Astrakhan (Russia). After weather conditions improve, it will move to Azerbaijan.

"The vessel is expected to arrive in early August," a source said. "The operations on the prospective unit are expected to begin on September 15."

He said that the offshore research may take about two months. Afterwards, the company will conduct an analysis and interpretation of data.

Under the contract, BP has taken on greater responsibility for the work on this block because it is located at a water depth of 750 meters. The depth of exploratory wells will be 7,000 meters.

Yusifzade said the projected reserves of Shafag Asiman is 500 billion cubic meters of gas and 65 million tons of condensate, SOCAR First Vice-President Khoshbakht Yusifzade said.

BP-Azerebaijan and Caspian Geophysical signed a contract to carry out 3D-seismic in May.

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.

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