Weekly actual topics in Azerbaijan (Sept.24-28)

ASAN centres in Azerbaijan serve for population's benefit

In 2009, according to the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, Azerbaijan was recognised as the world's leader among the countries in terms of simply doing business.
During that period Azerbaijan has achieved this by introducing a 'single window' system since Jan. 2008 for registering new enterprises. This reduced the number of necessary procedures from 30 to seven and the costs by a half. Azerbaijan will soon become famous worldwide by its social reforms by introducing the 'single window' system in this area, but in a more sophisticated form.

Azerbaijan decided to unite most public services by using new methods and modern innovations for the convenience and time saving of Azerbaijani citizens and visitors. The services will be united in specially created centres ASAN xidmet, having the status of a public body. The state bodies and the population will contact with each other under these centres.

The following public services will be available initially to the public in the 'ASAN xidmet' centres:

  • Registration of civil acts
    - Notary services,
    - Issuing and replacing ID cards and passports,
    - Replacing a driver's licence
    - Issuing certificates of conviction,
    - Registration of real estate transactions,
    - Registration of commercial organisations and taxpayers
    - Issuing archival reference to physical and legal entities,
    - Receiving documents for registration of customs declarations
    - Issuing permits for temporary and permanent residence permits, including those for the status of immigrants in Azerbaijan
    - Issuing certificates about the information on the land cadastre
    - Assigning pensions,
    - Information services for all the services rendered by state agencies.

These centres will be located in comfortable buildings and equipped with modern equipment and technology. They will have professional employees who have been trained in special courses on customer service in an ethical manner.

The hall for visitors will be divided into the following spaces - for getting services directly and self-service. Appealing to the information kiosk just after entering the centre with a request for the services, visitors will know about the amount of state fees and where to go to submit the documents. The self-service includes the automated systems where consumers will be able to get different types of services.

The movement of citizens will be regulated by an electronic integrated queue management system with a minimum waiting period. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, the citizens will appeal to the appropriate service area. The objectives of 'ASAN xidmet' centres are to render mobile services by phone through the centres Call system, or through the Internet. The centres will be able to simultaneously serve a large number of customers each calendar day.

Regardless of social status visitors will be welcomed by rendering the services to all citizens, regardless of residence registration. Those with children will feel comfortable and the children can play, watch cartoons or draw in a special area. An Internet cafe, photo studio, bank, post offices and other facilities will operate there.

The services will be rendered in 'ASAN xidmet' centres on the basis of the principles of efficiency, transparency, courtesy, responsibility and comfort for all citizens. Thanks to these centres citizens will save money and time. As time is also money in the modern world, the money will be saved twice over.

By the way, one does not have to be nervous as can happen while obtaining any reference, extracts from the register or other document from the various instances. As the 'ASAN xidmet' centres will be built in different parts of the republic, the problem of citizens arriving from the regions to the capital for documents will be resolved.

Two million manat, envisaged in the State Budget for 2012, was initially allocated from the president's Reserve Fund to establish these centres. The State Agency for Services to Citizens and Social Innovation under the Azerbaijani president established by the presidential decree dated July 13 will manage them. In particular, the state agency will coordinate the activity of employees of state agencies, who work at the centres, monitor and evaluate, deal with mutual integration of databases of state agencies, accelerate organising e-services and improve governance in the sector.

Consequently, the widespread use of electronic services in these centres will minimise the communication of citizens with officials. This is a direct goal of the national programme to combat corruption. Creating these centres will also help to unite the various state agencies. This will improve public administration and save on public funds.

For example, after the presidential decree on the establishment of a new State Agency, a decree on the establishment of State Agency for 'e-government' under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies and changing the structure of the Ministry was annulled.

Caspian Sea rigs

Almost 20 years have passed since 1994, when Azerbaijan signed the first PSA-contract during the period of independence of the Caspian countries to develop the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field.

During this period a number of large hydrocarbon fields, including Shah Deniz, Umid, Absheron and one of the world's largest oil fields Kashagan were discovered in the Caspian Sea. Few people doubt that this is only the beginning, and there are huge oil and gas reserves along the sea bed. This is stipulated by the fact that the interest of Western companies in the exploration and development of prospective structures in the Caspian Sea does not only abate, but accelerates every year.

However, the Caspian littoral countries face a number of challenges that affect the process of discovery, development, production and transportation of hydrocarbons. One of these challenges is the shortfall of a drilling infrastructure.

As for Azerbaijan, taking into account the increasing volume of drilling operations on discovered and prospective structures, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) made a decision to build an additional last generation four rigs worth up to $4 billion within five years. The construction of the first as it is known is scheduled for late 2012.

The end justifies the means. Azerbaijan together with its partners will be able to optimise and accelerate the exploration drilling on prospective structures thanks to these rigs and therefore hasten the discovery of new fields, accelerate the exploitation of existing ones and will be able to earn additional income by renting them in case of necessity.

The brief details about the number of rigs located in the Caspian Sea, their type, owners and the current status are mentioned below.

According to the international oil and gas online resource Rigzone, there are 28 drilling rigs in the Caspian Sea, of which 17 are active, seven in continuous conservation, one on standby and three in the construction phase.

Around 20 of the total number of rigs have been installed in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. Seventeen of them are old drilling platforms owned by SOCAR, built between1970-1980. They have been installed mainly in the shallow part of Absheron. At present, drilling operations are being conducted at 10 rigs. Seven are in continuous conservation.

The remaining three rigs operating in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea are Istiqlal, Dede Gorgud and the Heydar Aliyev rig. According to media reports, almost all the volume of drilling operations on the current PSA-contract falls to these rigs which are forced to work to a tight schedule.

The Istiqlal rig was built in 1993 and owned by SOCAR, and is semi-submersible type capable of operating in water depths up to 700 metres with a drilling depth of up to 6000 m

The Dede Gorgud rig: built in 1980 is also owned by SOCAR and is a semi-submersible type working in water depths up to 500m, to a drilling depth up to 6100m

Currently the largest in the Caspian Sea, the Heydar Aliyev rig was built in 2003 and is owned by Maersk Drilling. It is a semi-submersible type operating at a depth of 900m, with the depth of drilling being up to 9100 m

There is also the Gurtulush jack up rig, commissioned in 2000 and designed for drilling in depths from 10 to 105 metres at a depth of up to 8000 m. Its present status is unknown.

What do our neighbours in the Caspian Sea have?

Astra: dislocation - Kazakhstan, owner - Eurasia Drilling Company, date of commissioning - 1983, type - jack, water depth - 35m, drilling depth - 4800m, status - active.

Parker Rig 257: dislocation - Kazakhstan, owner - Parker Drilling, date of commissioning - 1977, type - drilling barge, water depth - 5.5 m, drilling depth - 9100 m, status - conservation in standby.

Iran Khazar: dislocation - Turkmenistan, owner - National Iranian Oil Company, date of commissioning - 1995, type - jack, water depth - 90m, drilling depth - 6100m, status - active.

Saturn: dislocation - Turkmenistan, owner - Eurasia Drilling Company, date of commissioning - 2000, type - jack, water depth - 100m, drilling depth - 7900m, status - active.

Iran Amir Kabir: dislocation - Iran, owner - National Iranian Oil Company, date of commissioning - 2009, type - semi-submersible, water depth -1000 m, drilling depth - 6100 m, status - active.

Caspian Explorer rig, which will operate in shallow water (2.5 - 5.5m) with a maximum drilling depth of up to 6000m, was commissioned in Kazakhstan in June 2012. Type of rig - immersion-type.

This is not a complete list. There are a number of rigs operating in shallow water at a depth from 1.5 to 10 metres, among them Chilim, Lotos, Ispolin and others.

Rigs under construction

Teniz Burgylau Jackup TBN 1: dislocation - Kazakhstan, owner - Teniz Burgylau LLP, date of commissioning - 2015, type - jack, water depth - 120m, drilling depth - 6100m

TBN1: dislocation - Russia, owner - Eurasia Drilling Company, date of commissioning - 2012, type - jack, water depth - 100m, drilling depth - 9100m

Caspian Driller: dislocation - Russia, owner - Dragon Oil, date of commissioning - 2012, type - jack, water depth - 90m, drilling depth - 9100m

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