EIB interested in Absheron field development
By Nigar Abbasova
Major energy projects of resource-rich Azerbaijan continue to attract attention of the leading finance institutions.
The EU's European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest multilateral lender, has displayed interest in the development of the large Absheron field in the Caspian Sea.
Working closely with the EU institutions the Bank represents interest of the EU member states, while diversifying supply routes that will decrease the dependence of EU countries on a single supplier is a key part of the EU energy policy.
Michael Borrell, Senior Vice-President for Continental Europe and Central Asia at Total SA said that the Bank is interested in the project.
While addressing a meeting with Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev in Baku, February 2, Borrell talked about the planned work and the work already carried out as part of the Absheron project.
“Total SA together with partners stepped up efforts to start production at the Absheron field, but Azerbaijan’s support is needed for the timely reception of the first gas from the field,” he said.
Natig Aliyev, in turn, said the Absheron field will greatly enhance the capability of the Southern Gas Corridor (a priority project for the EU’s diversification and energy security strategy).
The capabilities of the SGC, namely of its core pipes TANAP and TAP, is expected to allow to export the gas of Absheron field as well.
In late 2016, Azerbaijan’s oil major SOCAR and Total signed an agreement on the principles regulating the program of development of the field. Under the deal, the development process will cover the drilling of one well at a water depth of 450 meters. Production from the high-pressure field is expected to stand at 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, including a significant portion of condensate.
Azerbaijan is expected to extract first volumes of gas from Absheron by 2021, while preliminary estimates of reserves at the field stand at 350 billion cubic meters of gas (bcm) and some 45 million tons of gas condensate.
The discovery of Absheron field was announced in 2011. Participants of the project are SOCAR 40 percent, the French companies Total - 40 percent and Gaz De France Suez - 20 percent. The Absheron contract area is located in the Caspian Sea, 100 km off Baku, while its depth amounts to 500 meters.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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