By Leman Mammadova
Norway’s Equinor company and Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR are developing plans for exploration at Azerbaijan’s oil and gas fields, Equinor told Trend.
"Together with SOCAR we are now maturing the plans for exploration and appraisal operations in Karabakh and Ashrafi, Dan Ulduzu, Aypara. We cannot comment on any further details about the work program at his point," said the company.
Summing up its activities in Azerbaijan in 2018, the Norwegian company noted that the key event for Equinor last year was the signing of two agreements with SOCAR of the Risk Service Agreement related to the appraisal and development of the Karabakh oilfield and the Production Sharing Agreement for the Ashrafi, Dan Ulduzu, Aypara exploration area.
"The RSA and PSA agreements represent a natural next step for us in the region and will strengthen our position in a prolific basin and develop growth options. The licenses lie in close proximity to the ACG field in a basin we know well. We now look forward to work on these new exploration projects in partnership with SOCAR," said Equinor.
On May 30 of this year, SOCAR and Equinor signed two important agreements. The first agreement is a risk-service agreement on the Karabakh field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, while the second agreement - a production sharing and exploration agreement on the Dan Ulduzu, Ashrafi and Aypara promising structures.
The agreements envisage a 50/50 share distribution.
The Karabakh oil and gas field, discovered in 2000, is located 130 kilometers to the east of Baku. The sea depth in the field varies in the range of 250-450 meters. The initial oil reserves of the field are estimated at 100 million tons.
The recoverable reserves of the Karabakh field are estimated at 16 million tons of oil and 28 billion cubic meters of gas. The sea depth in the area of the field is 180 meters.
Initial oil reserves of the Karabakh oil and gas field, discovered in 2000, amount to 100 million tons. SOCAR operates Karabakh field’s development.
The contract for developing Ashrafi – Dan Ulduzu block of structures, signed in 1997 between SOCAR (20 percent), BP (30 percent), Unocal (25.5 percent), Itochu (20 percent) and Delta HESS (4.5 percent), lost validity on March 7, 2000. Hydrocarbon reserves in the amount of 20-40 million tons were discovered at the Ashrafi field.
Equinor will start 2D-3D seismic survey (2 and 3- dimensional marine seismic acquisition survey) at Azerbaijan’s Ashrafi-Dan Ulduzu-Aypara (ADUA) structures in March 2019. The survey will have an approximate duration of 42 to 45 days.
The ADUA exploration area is located around 50 kilometres east of Baku, around 14 kilometers to the east of Azerbaijan mainland (Absheron peninsula), and approximately 7 kilometers to the east of Pirallahi Island and Chilov Island in water depths varying between 20 and 225 meters.
It should be reminded that Norway's Statoil oil and gas group changed its name to Equinor on May 16, 2018.
The company owns 7.27 percent of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) bloc development project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea and 8,71 percent in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), the main export route for ACG oil.
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