BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.17
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
After gaining independence Azerbaijan made a long path towards the development of its oil and gas sector starting with singing of the Contract of the Century in 1994 to the commissioning of the Southern Gas Corridor in late 2020.
Nevertheless, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said at the 7th meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council that “we will continue to develop our energy resources. We have very promising prospects from the fields which are now in the process of exploration, and production.”
As such, Umid-Babek structure continues ramping up production. The structure is developed by Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR. The reserves of Babek and Umid fields are estimated at 400 billion cubic meters and at least 200 million cubic meters, respectively.
It is planned to build and install a platform at Umid field (Umid 2) and conduct exploratory drilling in the nearest Babek structure. Dashgil 2 terminal with capacity of 24 million cubic meters per day is under construction for initial gas and condensate processing. The product will be transported via the underwater pipeline of the terminal. Construction of the terminal has been going on since September 2019.
Umid field has already produced around 4 billion cubic meters of gas.
Geological exploration works are underway at Shafag-Asiman structure by BP. On the Shafag-Asiman offshore block, the first exploration well was spudded on 13 January 2020. Drilling activities are currently ongoing, and the well is at a depth of 5,305 metres. It is planned to drill two wells at the first state. Two more wells can be drilled at the second stage in the case of necessity. The projected reserves of the block stand at 500 billion cubic meters of gas and 65 million tons of condensate.
Three exploration wells are planned in three perspective areas as part of the Shallow Water Absheron Peninsula (SWAP) project. Drilling activities will commence once the upgrade of the rig selected to drill the first well is completed. On 28 August, the Environmental and Socio-economic Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the first well was disclosed and following a 2-month disclosure period the ESIA document was updated and re-submitted to the government authorities to obtain necessary permissions to commence drilling activities in the second quarter of 2021.
On D230, a 3D seismic acquisition program, which commenced in December 2019, was successfully completed on 14 March 2020. The processing of the first stage of seismic data was completed in June 2020 with the final processed data delivered in the third quarter of the year. The interpretation of the data is currently ongoing. If the results from the interpretation of the seismic survey are positive, bp may start planning for an exploration well.
Absheron EPS (Early Production Scheme) project activities are progressing.The pipe laying barge PLBH sailed away on 7th January and started to lay the 12in pipeline in the vicinity of Oil Rocks on 15th January.At the same time, the vessel Gurban Abasov has finished to install the 4 main jackets of the platform beside Oil Rocks and the piles cutting is ongoing.
The plan for Absheron gas field in Azerbaijan in 2021 is to complete the EPS Platform topside modules and the connecting bridges. It is also planned to progress with the Tie-in works to the AZNEFT PU Oil Rocks Facilities.
The full-scale development of Absheron field can start soon after the first stage of gas production. The gas to be produced in the first stage is planned for the domestic market, while the additional volumes to be extracted in the subsequent stages may be exported. Absheron gas and condensate field as 350 billion cubic meters of reserves.
In March 2020, Azerbaijan State Oil Company SOCAR and Norwegian Equinor have confirmed the fact of discovery of the Karabagh oil field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, 120 kilometers east of Baku.
The drilling of the first appraisal well at Karabagh oil field was started on December 23, 2019. The well was drilled in water depth of 180 meters by the Dada Gorgud semi-submersible drilling rig operated by SOCAR’s Caspian Drilling Company (CDC). The reservoir is at a depth of approximately 3.4 kilometers. Estimated size of the discovered volumes of oil and gas are satisfactory for pursuing commercial development of the Karabagh field. Its oil reserves estimated more than 60 million tons. It will produce 1.5 million tons of oil per year, but it is too early to predict the volume of exports from this field.
BOS Shelf, the operator of the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deep Water Jackets Plant, has completed the construction of the Karabagh support block, which is the largest offshore jacket for use in oil and gas production in the history of field development in the Caspian Sea. The work on installation of Karabagh support block is ongoing. There is a concept of connecting the communication lines to Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli platforms and oil and gas lines. In this regard, engineering works are underway together with SOCAR’s partner companies.
Azerbaijan’s proven natural gas reserves stand at 2.6 trillion cubic meters and according to the new data, this figure may be even higher.
The above projects and other promising projects give ground to say that even brighter future for Azerbaijan’s oil and gas sector is on the horizon.
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