SOFAZ pays half of cost for new drilling rig in Azerbaijan
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
Nearly half of the value of new generation drilling rig has been allocated to finance its construction in Azerbaijan, executive director of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov said.
He expressed hope that the rig will be ready and launched in the Caspian Sea in 2016.
"A lot of appeals from various companies on the issue of using the rig, as well as contract offers, have been received to date," said Movsumov. "The interest is very high, and it means that these investments will quickly return the expenses."
The project cost will be $1.116.7 billion.
SOFAZ owns 90 percent share in "Azerbaijan Rigs" LLC, created for the construction of a new platform. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) owns the remaining 10 percent share.
Some $17.2 million has been allocated from the fund in the first quarter of 2015 for this project. Since the beginning of the project implementation, some $425.7 million has been invested in it.
The first new generation rig will be built for the needs of the SOCAR. The drilling operator will be "Caspian Drilling Company" (CDC), in which the SOCAR owns 92.44-percent share. Singaporean "Keppel FELS Limited" company has been chosen as the contractor of the rig's construction, with which the CDC signed an agreement for the construction work last June.
The new rig will be designed to drill wells up to 8,000 meters at the depth of 1,000 meters.
The new rig can be commissioned in early 2017.
The rig will be used for drilling of prospective structures and fields in Azerbaijan, such as the Umid field and such perspective structures as Babek, Karabakh, Ashrafi and others.
Azerbaijan should construct four new floating drilling rigs, taking into account the implementation of big projects in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
SOFAZ was established in 1999, and its assets at that time amounted to $271 million.
As of April 1, 2015, the assets of SOFAZ have decreased by 5.86 percent compared to early 2015 ($37.104 billion) and amounted to about $34.930 billion. Based on SOFAZ's regulations, its funds may be used for the construction and reconstruction of strategically important infrastructure facilities, as well as solving important national problems.
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