Drilling rig issue for Absheron field in Azerbaijan not resolved yet

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

French Total continues negotiations to attract a modern drilling rig in the works at Absheron gas and condensate field in Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, Total E&P Azerbaijan told Trend on January 6.

The company was commenting on the information regarding the completion of the negotiations on the case.

"This matter is the subject of the negotiations with SOCAR (the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan). Nothing has been concluded so far. Discussions still continue," a source in the French company said.

One of the options, that is being considered for the drilling works at Absheron field is the attraction of a new modern drilling rig that is currently being built for SOCAR. Another option is to build a second new drilling rig.

The work for construction of a new modern drilling rig for SOCAR started in 2013, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. The new rig is designed for drilling wells at a depth of up to 8,000 meters and at a water depth of 1,000 meters.

In particular, the rig will be used for drilling at prospective structures and fields in Azerbaijan, such as the Umid field and the promising structures Babek, Karabakh, Ashrafi and others.

The cost of the new modern drilling rig construction project is $1,116,700,000.

According to forecasts, the first volume of gas from the Absheron gas and condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea will be received in Q4, 2021.

A final investment decision on the project will be made in Q4, 2017 and the beginning of the drilling of the first well is expected in the last quarter of 2019. It is planned to complete the field development program and submit it to the government of Azerbaijan by mid-2015.

The possibilities of processing gas from the field are also being discussed. In particular, partial or complete processing of gas at the new gas processing plant, which will be built by SOCAR within the framework of the project on creation of the complex for processing oil and gas and oil production, is offered as one of the options.

The discovery of Absheron field was announced in September 2011. A decision was made to drill an offshoot of the first exploration well to specify the data. The work was completed in 2012.

According to SOCAR geologists, the reserves of Absheron could amount to 350 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million metric tons of condensate.

Absheron project participants include SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) - 40 percent, the French companies Total - 40 percent and Gaz De France Suez - 20 percent.

Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AygunBadalova

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