Major events in Caspian countries' oil and gas industry for last week (Dec.12-17)

Gazprom to increase Azerbaijani gas purchase

Gazprom intends to increase purchase of Azerbaijani gas by 1.5 times - up to 3 billion cubic meters compared to the planned 2 billion cubic meters for 2011.

A corresponding agreement was reached at a working meeting of Gazprom Board Chairman Alexei Miller and President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev.

Kazakhstan acquires 10-percent share in Karachaganak oil and gas project

The Kazakh government and the shareholders of the Karachaganak oil and gas project signed an agreement to transfer a 10-percent share in the project to Kazakhstan on Wednesday. The project participants sold part of their shares in proportional terms.

In addition, taking into account Kazakhstan's joining the project as a participant, the country agreed to allocate additional quota to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) in the amount of 0.5 million tons per year with a further increase up to 2 million tons per year

Kazakhstan has confirmed the stability of the contract with the Karachaganak consortium.

Final completion of the deal depends on fulfillment of certain conditions by both parties and should happen within the first half of 2012.

Karachaganak with reserves of 1.2 billion tons of oil and condensate and more than 1.35 trillion cubic meters of gas is one of the major oil and gas fields in the world. About 49 percent of all gas and 18 percent of all oil production are extracted on this field.

The oil and gas field is being developed by Consortium Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV. The Consortium members are the British BG and Italian Eni (each has 32.5 percent in the project), another 20 percent is owned by the U.S. Chevron, 15 percent - Russian Lukoil

Uzbekistan, China build third branch of Central Asia-Chine gas pipeline

Uzbekistan and China have commenced constructing the third branch line of the Central Asia- China gas pipeline. According to the interlocutor, a ceremony was held in Gazli on Dec.15 in connection with the launched construction of the sector of the gas pipeline passing through Uzbekistan, stretching 529 kilometers. The design capacity of the third branch line is 25 billion cubic meters of gas a year, the project cost - $ 2.2 billion.

Gas deliveries are expected to begin through the third branch line in January 2014 by reaching the planned capacity in December 2015. The project will be financed by loans from the Chinese State Development Bank, as well as direct investments of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Iran, Russia sign new oil contract

National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Russia's Tatneft signed a deal, worth $700 million, in Tehran on Sunday to develop the Zagheh heavy crude oilfield in southwest Iran.

The deal is aimed to produce 7,000 barrels per day (bpd) of heavy crude from the oilfield in the first phase and boost it to 55,000 bpd in the next phases. The field has been left inactive for several years.

BP completes platform maintenance in Azerbaijan

BP (operator developing the block of offshore fields "Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli" in Azerbaijan) has completed working on a platform "Central Azeri" within the technical maintenance program of three extractive platforms in the Caspian Sea. According to the report, all the operations planned to be conducted on the platform have been completed. At present, the operations on testing are underway. "The platform will be launched within a few days," BP-Azerbaijan said. Previously, the company stopped, conducted the necessary work and re-launched the "East Azeri" and "Western Azeri" platforms.

Dragon Oil increases oil production in Turkmenistan

The next stage of Dragon Oil (UAE) drilling in the Turkmen section of Caspian Sea has been successfully completed.

"We have reached a production level of 70 000 barrels of oil a day," General Manager Abdul Jaleel Al Khalifa said.

Al Khalifa noted that, there are plans to bring the average daily production to 100,000 barrels of oil from 2015.

The company's activities are conducted in the eastern sector of the South Caspian Basin, in the contract area Cheleken. Base PSA with the Government of Turkmenistan was signed in 1999. The total area of the contract area is approximately 950 square kilometers and includes Dzheitun, Dzhigalybek and Chelekenyangummez deposits.

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