Design depth of first exploration well on Absheron field close to be reached
Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 22 / Trend E.Ismayilov /
Depth of the first exploration well within a new contract for Absheron's exploration and developmentin the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea may be more than designed 7,200 meters, a source in the oil and gas market said on Monday.
The source said the drilling is underway and its depth is about 7,000 meters. Depending on the progress of drilling, depth can be greater than that which is planned under the project.
The source said the drilling operations will last by November.
Participants in Absheron are SOCAR (40 percent), Total (40 percent) and Gaz De France Suez (20 percent).
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.
The first exploration well is being drilled from the Heydar Aliyev drilling rig, operated by the Danish Maersk Drilling Company.
According to SOCAR geologists, the Absheron structure's reserves are estimated at 300 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million tons of condensate.
The Absheron bloc is located about 100 kilometers from Baku at a depth of 500 meters.
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.