Statoil decides to explore gas in deep water section of Caspian Sea

On April 8, 2013 State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and Norwegian state company Statoil plan to sign the memorandum on joint development of Zafar Mashall perspective fields located in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. The signing ceremony will take place during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Baku.

Ten years ago the first exploration works started on the bloc on the basis of the production sharing agreement (PSA) with the US Exxon Mobil company. The contract for exploration of deep-water fields Zafar and Mashal was signed on April 27, 1999 and ratified by the Azerbaijani parliament on May 8, 2000. The project partners are SOCAR - 50%, Exxon Mobil – 30% (operator) and ConocoPhillips – 20%.

The area of the field is 643 sq.km. The sea depth on the contract area varies between 450 and 950 meters. The preparation to the exploration works took a long time. Drilling of the first exploration well on the Zafar field from the floating semi-submersible drilling rig Heydar Aliyev started by Dutch Maersk Contractors company on November 8, 2003. The water depth on the drilling site is 618 meters. The exploration works have never been carried out on such a depth in the Caspian Sea before.

The depth of 7087 meters (the planned depth of 7000 meters) was reached on the well in early October 2004. The commercial resources of hydrocarbons were not discovered during the drilling. A small productive bed with the gas resources of about 50 billion cub.m. was discovered. Total costs for the first exploration well drilling reached $150 million.

Zafar and Mashal fields are located 130 km southeast of Baku and 90 km away from the Kura river delta. The structures were discovered during the seismic studies in 1961 and the first geophysical works were carried on them in 1985 and 1987.

SOCAR’s geologists believe that Zafar field contains about 250-300 billion cub.m. of gas.

Statoil takes part in the biggest international projects in Azerbaijan – development of the oil field Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG), development of Shah-Deniz gas condensate field, transportation of hydrocarbons

from these fields (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and South Caucasian gas pipeline) and it is also interested in joining new gas projects in Azerbaijan (TANAP and European routes.)—0—

 

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