Exploration & development of Umid-Babek field on agenda of SOCAR

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 12

By Sara Israfilbayova - Trend:

Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR plans to begin gas production from the second platform at the Umid field in the fourth quarter of 2022, Trend reports with reference to sources in the oil sector July 12.

So far, there is only one platform in operation from which it is planned to drill four wells.

Exploration work on the neighboring structure “Babek” is scheduled for next year. SOCAR said that in the case of success, the first exploratory well may be converted into a production well. Drilling is possible as early as 2021 with the help of Kazakhstan’s Satti, a self-elevating floating drilling rig, which has been delivered to Baku and will drill several exploratory wells.

SOCAR announced the discovery of the Umid field in 2010. Earlier, SOCAR and Nobel Oil Exploration & Production Ltd created SOCAR-Umid LLC, to carry out drilling on the prospective structure "Umid" in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. SOCAR owns an 80-percent share and the Nobel Oil company has 20-percent share in the joint venture.

The volume of the field's reserve exceeds 200 billion cubic meters of gas and 40 million tons of condensate, according to the results of drilling the first exploration well and the estimations of SOCAR specialists.

The Umid field is located 75 kilometers from Baku, 40 kilometers away from the coast. The first geophysical work was carried out there in 1953, the second, improved one in 1972. Nine wells were drilled there from 1977 to 1992. However, none of them produced any results.

The reserves of Babek perspective structure may amount to 400 billion cubic meters of gas and 80 million tons of condensate, according to preliminary data.

The risk service contract (a contract with a minimum guarantee of compensation) for exploration and development of an offshore block including the Umid gas field and the promising Babek structure in the Caspian Sea was signed between SOCAR and SOCAR Umid Oil and Gas Ltd on January 12, 2017.

SOCAR-Umid LLC, which was engaged in the development of the Umid gas field, was affiliated to the SOCAR’s Azneft Production Union.

The drilling and gas extraction from the Umid field continues. In 2020, drilling of a new well will begin from the second platform of the Umid gas field. The well will be commissioned in 2021.

The fourth well is being drilled. Production from three wells (#10, #14 and #16) is underway at the field. More than 1.25 million cubic meters of gas and 200 tons of condensate are daily produced at the field. In total, SOCAR has produced almost 2 billion cubic meters of gas since the beginning of the development of the Umid field in 2011.

SOCAR has a long-term program on the development of the Umid-Babek block, thanks to which the company will be able to receive up to five billion cubic meters of gas annually from the Umid field alone.

In May last year, Financial Director of Nobel Upstream Huseyn Gasimov said that the annual gas production at the Umid-Babek block at the first stage of its full-scale development may reach 3-4 billion cubic meters of gas per year. These volumes are planned to be supplied to a growing domestic market. At the next stage, another 3-4 billion cubic meters of additional gas will be added to the production, which are planned to be sold in the regional market, and at subsequent stages in the European market through the Southern Gas Corridor.

In 2018, SOCAR received 663 million manats from the state budget to increase the authorized capital in connection with drilling at the Umid-Babek and Karabakh fields.

The Babek field has yet to be drilled. SOCAR is preparing for exploration work on the structure, which is scheduled to begin in 2020.

SOCAR is preparing a project to drill the first exploratory well on Babek structure. If the results of the exploratory well’s drilling are positive, SOCAR will build a platform there at the first stage and drill 4-5 wells for production. Gas production itself at the Babek field may start in 2024-2025.

Regardless of the structure of the contract on development of the Umid-Babek block, the main task of SOCAR is to ensure the optimal development of the already explored deposit and to ensure exploratory drilling on promising structures.


Follow the author on Twitter: @IsrafilbekovaS

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