Minister: Eurasia project to allow Kazakhstan to obtain ultra-deep well drilling technology

Astana, Kazakhstan, Nov. 14

Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend: In the framework of the Eurasia project, Kazakhstan plans to develop innovative technologies for drilling ultra-deep wells with depths of 14-15 kilometers, the Kazakh Minister of Oil and Gas Uzakbai Karabalin told Trend on Nov. 14.

The Eurasia project is a knowledge-intensive work in the literal sense: it looks to develop innovative technologies for drilling ultra-deep wells with depths of 14 or 15 kilometers. This will be a record depth because no one in the world has yet managed to drill a well deeper than the Kola well in Russia (over 12 kilometers)," Uzakbai Karabalin said.
At the same time, he noted that the Eurasia project is not contrary to the pre-salt drilling program of NC KazMunaiGas JSC (KMG).

"Moreover, they (the Eurasia project and pre-salt drilling program of KMG) complement each other. The Eurasia project will be implemented in coordination with KazMunaiGas," the Minister said.

According to him, the Eurasia project will allow Kazakh companies to obtain geological and geophysical, technical, environmental and other experiences in the field of regional geological studies and drilling of deep wells.

"We want to obtain new high technologies and new industries, innovative development of new methods of geophysical survey and interpretation of data and the types of drilling equipment," the Minister said.

In addition, the study will provide a spatial model of the Caspian Basin for purposeful, more successful oil exploration, the Minister said and expressed hope that this will allow to make many new discoveries in the history of the Earth's formation.
As reported earlier, according to experts, the resource potential of the Caspian region, especially the Caspian Basin , amounts to up to 40 billion tons of conventional fuel. It is forecasted to open here about two dozen large hydrocarbon deposits with reserves of more than 300 million tons.

As Uzakbai Karabalin said earlier, in the case of implementation of the Eurasia project Kazakhstan's hydrocarbon reserves may be doubled.

According to him, the depth of the Caspian Basin is 20,000 - 25,000 meters, and there is a huge amount of oil-generating rocks.

Kazakhstan has already attempted to drill ultra-deep wells. In Soviet times, Aralsorsk and Bikzhal wells were drilled. In those years, by those technologies a depth of nearly seven thousand metres was achieved and it was considered a good result.
"Currently the potential of the Caspian Basin shows that the deeper sediments may be the most interesting," Karabalin said.

Implementation of the Eurasia project will consist of three stages. The first involves the collection and processing of materials of previous years. The second is conducting large-scale research. The latter includes drilling of a new support-parametric well 'Caspian 1' to a depth of about 14-15 kilometers.

The estimated cost of the three phases of the Eurasia project is about $ 500 million.The project is proposed to be implemented by the funds of the international consortium out of a number of interested large oil companies. It is already known that not only Kazakh and Russian companies are among them, but also Western companies, as well as companies from Japan, Korea and China.

Future members of the consortium will have to jointly create a research program, ensuring its funding. The project will be managed in Kazakhstan.
The work on the Eurasia project is scheduled to begin in 2015. Until that time a group will be established to negotiate with potential project participants.

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