Azerbaijan to start construction work on major offshore facility
Azerbaijan, Baku, October 1 / Trend E. Ismayilov /
Preparations are under way to begin construction of a new generation floating drilling rig for SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) in Azerbaijan, a source in the oil and gas market told Trend on Monday.
According to the source, construction work is scheduled to begin before the year end.
"For now, all attention is focused on the preparation for the construction of a new installation in order to start work by the end of the year," the source stressed.
The new Baku shipyard launched recently will produce the pontoon and upper decks of the installation.
According to the source, the first cutting of a steel sheet for the semi-submersible drilling rig was carried out during the opening of the plant .
Part of the work will be carried out at the construction site of the Caspian Shipyard Company Ltd.
The operator of the drilling rig will be the Caspian Drilling Company (CDC) where a 92.44 per cent share is owned by SOCAR. Singapore firm Keppel FELS Limited is chosen as the plant construction contractor. In June 2013, CDC signed an agreement with this company for the construction work.
As the head of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev said earlier, the cost of a new floating drilling rig including taxes will exceed one billion dollars.
The new installation will be designed for drilling wells at depths up to 8000 metres and at a water depth of 1000 metres. Construction of the installation is to be completed in 2016.
In particular, the installation will be used for drilling on prospective structures and fields in Azerbaijan, such as the Umid field and the promising structures Babek, Karabakh, Ashrafi and others.
Considering the implementation of major projects in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea and in particular drilling on the prospective Babek structure, the Absheron gas condensate field development and implementation of the second stage of development of Shah Deniz gas condensate field and other projects, Azerbaijan needs to build four new floating drilling rigs.