By Akbar Mammadov
Azerbaijan has discovered a new oil field with over 60 million tons of crude, the state oil company SOCAR told local media on March 19.
The oil field named Karabakh was discovered by SOCAR and Norwegian “Equinor” company in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, 120 kilometres east of Baku.
It has an estimated 60 million tons of oil reserves, meaning that the approximate value of the oil field is more than 10 billion dollars in today's price (24,53$) of "Azeri Light" oil brand of Azerbaijan.
The drilling of the first appraisal well on the “Karabakh” field began on December 23, 2019. SOCAR's CDC drilling company drilled this well with “Dada Gorgud” floating drilling rig at a depth of 180 meters. Productive layers of the deposit are located at the depth of 3.4 km. According to preliminary estimates, the volume of oil and gas discovered in the field is sufficient for its economic development.
“The “Karabakh” field is the first oil field discovered during our independence. Preliminary estimated geological reserves of the field are more than 60 million tons of oil,” SOCAR’s president Rovnag Abdullayev said.
“Successful, safe and timely delivery of the valuation well to the project depth is a result of the joint efforts of SOCAR and the “Equinor” company,” SOCAR president added.
Rovnaq Abdullayev noted: “Development of the Karabakh field will be a significant contribution to Azerbaijan's oil revenues. Reflection of Karabakh in the field name, the heart of our homeland, is particularly proud.”
It should also be noted that “Karabakh” as a promising offshore structure was discovered in 1959 as a result of seismic exploration, specified in 1984, and its oil and gas potential was confirmed in 1997-1998 thanks to exploration drilling. The bed is located 120 km to the east of Baku at a depth of 150-200 meters of the open sea.
The consortium led by Caspian International Petroleum Company (CIPCO) drilled three exploration wells in accordance with the “Karabakh Production Sharing Agreement” signed in 1995. Two wells have confirmed that the southeastern part of the structure is saturated with gas, and one well in the western part of the structure is found to be saturated with oil and gas. The agreement was abolished in 1999 as an economically ineffective project.
In May 2018, “SOCAR Karabakh” and “Equinor” signed a Risk Service Agreement on the development of the “Karabakh” oil field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. According to the agreement, the companies have an equal share.
SOCAR and “Statoil” (“Equinor”) have been cooperating on a number of important projects since 1994, including the Azeri-Chirag and Derinsulu Gunashli (ACG) oil field development project.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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