By Leman Mammadova
Additional gas volumes from new, promising gas sources can play an exceptional role in expanding capacity of Southern Gas Corridor.
Azerbaijan’s fields such as Shafag-Asiman and Umid-Babek can be used to expand the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), BP Azerbaijan Vice President Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli told Trend.
He said that the SGC can be expanded in two directions.
"The first direction includes Azerbaijan’s gas resources, and not only Shah Deniz, but also other fields, such as Shafag-Asiman, Umid-Babek, fields operated by SOCAR and other fields," he noted. "The second direction includes gas resources of other countries. This question depends on the willingness and interest of these countries."
Aslanbayli added that there are technical capabilities to expand this gas pipeline, further adding that the SGC was originally designed in a way so that its capacity can be doubled.
Aslanbayli also stressed that BP is quite active in the implementation of this project.
The Shafag-Asiman block lies some 125 kilometers (78 miles) to the South-East of Baku. It covers an area of some 1100 square kilometers and has never been explored before. It is located in a deepwater section of about 650-800 meters with reservoir depth of about 7000 meters.
SOCAR and BP signed a contract on the Shafag-Asiman block of fields for a period of 30 years in October 2010. The exploration period is four years with possibility of extension for three more years. Two wells are to be drilled within the first phase. Two more wells will be drilled within the second phase, if necessary.
Shared participation in the contract between BP and SOCAR is 50 to 50 percent.
The forecast reserves of the Shafag-Asiman block stand at 500 billion cubic meters of gas and 65 million tons of condensate.
SOCAR announced the discovery of the Umid field in 2010. A risk service contract (a contract with a minimum guarantee of compensation) for exploration and development of an offshore block including the Umid gas field and the promising Babek structure in the Caspian Sea was signed between SOCAR and SOCAR Umid Oil and Gas Ltd. on January 12, 2017.
According to SOCAR’s data and the first exploration drilling, the field has over 200 billion cubic meters of gas and 40 million tons of condensate.
The reserves of the Babek structure may stand at 400 billion cubic meters of gas and 80 million tons of condensate, according to preliminary data.
The Southern Gas Corridor, $ 40 billion worth project, envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and Europe through the pipeline, which will be operated within the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
Shah Deniz is a giant gas condensate field, reserves of which are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas and 240 million tons of condensates. Within the second stage of field development, the volume of gas production can be increased to 24 billion cubic meters per year, according to forecasts.
Gas produced within Shah Deniz Stage 2 will be transported from the Caspian Sea to Europe, through Italy, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and the seabed of the Adriatic Sea.
The Southern Gas Corridor consists of four projects: Shah Deniz 2, Expansion of South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum), the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
Perhaps this is one of the most ambitious projects in the world of oil and gas industry, as well as a complex target that involves a large number of different stakeholders - including seven governments and 11 companies.
On May 29, Baku hosted the launch of the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor project, and on June 12, the opening ceremony of the TANAP took place in the Turkish province of Eskisehir.
Thus, the first gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field has already gone through the first segment of the Southern Gas Corridor - from the Sangachal terminal to the expanded South Caucasus Pipeline.
Recently, TAP and TANAP successfully completed their connection on the banks of the Merich River on the Turkish-Greek border.
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